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Rosti 

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On the basis that I need some bigger feeders than I have for autumn use, I have a router and I haven't been to casualty for some time, I thought I would build some. Seen some great plans around. Quite like the diagonal Miller feeder http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/diagmiller.html. If you were building what design would you go for ... and do you know where I could get plans? Thanks, Rosti
 

hedgerow pete 

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the ones i used to build are based on either a bowl type " brother adam feeder" or cut two feeding slots to allow a quicker take down , the diaganol slot is the best of both worlds and gives maxium feeder area minium work, i used to build mine from 1/2" ply and only fibre glass resin the inside holding liqiud area and nothing else, we could make a few dozen in an easy day
 

bombus 

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A photo of the slot type you speak of would be very handy Pete.
 

Brosville 

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Here's some pics of a feeder I knocked up for a top-bar hive, but easily adaptable for other hives. Marine ply and strip wood, waterproofed with molten beeswax. The "floater" works well - the bees can "walk down" into the indents to drink, and the wood retains the extra buoyancy by being relatively thick..... Just used one of those flat "hole borer" thingummies........
I think it's fairly self-explanatory......





 

Brosville 

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In the middle picture you can see the "top bar" with a hole and cork, the nuts and bolts bolt it to the "top bar" for use - you can then top up using a funnel through the hole and replace the cork, the nuts and bolts allow it's disassembly for cleaning..... :)
 

Rosti 

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Thanks all, am going to have a go at the diagonal miller but I like Brosville's idea of a float, I will tray to incorporate that.
 

victor meldrew 

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Every picture tells a story .
Your work mate would better on level ground
:laughing-smiley-014.
John
 

JCBrum 

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In fact I would say that the whole design purpose of a miller feeder is so that you don't need a float.
 

Rosti 

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Points on float noted, have binned that idea. Have gone for a trad Miller rather than the diagonal, but have increased the central entrance to 12mm from 9mm, have also gone for removeable slushes to aid cleaning. I'll post the materials costing, time taken and some pics when completed. Suspect it's cheaper to purchase if you can find one, but none around at the moment.
 

Finman 

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I build some different type feeders and I tired leeking, wasps, robbing, cleaning, sinking etc.
So I byed 8 litre plastic feeders and they have been now 25 years.
Goes fine.
 
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I'll post the materials costing, time taken and some pics when completed. Suspect it's cheaper to purchase if you can find one, but none around at the moment.
I have some ply wood that I was going to use as a base for my feeders but when I costed to wood for the side it hardly seemed worth the saving, I might as well buy the budget ones from Thornes.

Am interested to know how you get on though.
 

Finman 

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In Finland it has been used much a bucket with cover.
You drill small holes into cover.
Fill the bucket with syrup , set the cover and turn it upside down.

Bees will suck syrup from small holes.

It needs an empty beebox over the feeder, and that is not handy. Where to put those frames?

 
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Rosti 

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Finman, i had a go with bucket (contact) feeders but found it difficult to gauge how much had been taken and didn't like the fact that the spilled syrup easily. My current feeder is a rapid but the volume is not big enough hence the need to make some higher capacity units. I'll post when I'm done and you can all tll me what I did wrong!
 

Finman 

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I use flat box like feeders. The good thing is that it keeps syrup warm, because temp may be at night at freezing level.

When I feed, 2 boxes fill the hive which has one Langstroth for winter. ´Bees take winter food in couple of days, if syrup is warm. Two Lang. boxes need one week to feed. Then it takes 2 weeks that bees cap the food in September.

Important is in feeding that bees do not slip into syrup and they can crawl up if it happens. Sometimes in self made feeders I had hundreds of bees dead in syrup.

In autumn I am busy with bees and it is better that I do not get extra troubles.
 

Finman 

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...n and didn't like the fact that the spilled syrup easily. !
If it spills syrup, the holes maybe too big, syrup not enough tight or bucket is flexible. If drill holes are big enough, bees cannot take syrup.

Actually my buckets did not work well and I gived upp.
 

Rosti 

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It's finished ....... thanks for your advice.

In summary worthwhile, total capacity per feeder calculated as 12 ltr (2 x 6). Total cost to make 2 Miller style feeders was £27.70.

Breaks down as:
2 x 2.4m of 115mm x 21mm soft wood strips £9.74
1 x 9mm plywood sheet (1200mm x 600mm) £11.98
1 x Matt varnish 250ml (used about half) £5.98

Un-costed items:
2 x 4mm thick 450mm x 75mm pieces of poly carbonate (dead green house window). 8 x screws, waterproof wood glue.

Tools: Router plus 9mm & 12mm bits, drill, screw driver
Time: Circa 3 & 1/2 hours to build and varnish 2 feeders (plus drying time)

Design notes:
Could have routed to 9mm for bee access but did 12mm because I had the bit already. Feeding gaps = 15mm. Feed slushes (4mm base gap) made removeable to aid hygiene and could be removed to allow bees to clean the whole thing up before storage - 4mm ply lids for the feed hoppers made from scrap (not shown). Sand mixed into final layer of varnish on the access side of feeding gaps to improve grip. Polycarbonate used as top vision panel to allow bee observation,
 
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GingerNut 

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Hi Rosti,

Funny that you posted these piccys last night as I bought my wood yesterday to build my feeder :)

I like the idea of mixing sand in, I was wondering about grip :)

A question -

I need to be clear about gaps, what are the spaces between the 4 boards in the bee entrance and feeding area?

Have you done a water test yet?

I am going for a slightly different design

  1. It will be 'super' size so no super needed for it to go in to (you haven't said whether you have done this).
  2. I'm using 150mm x 18mm for the outsides, so it will be slightly larger.
  3. I shall make the outer feeding boards with a 'bee space' cut out of the bottom of them so I don't need to remove them for bee cleaning. What is the definitive 'bee space'?
  4. The other reason for this is I am going to use this feeder to put the bakers fondant in as well, so it is dual purpose :)
  5. I will make the whole top cover of polycarbonate so I can see what's going on in all parts. I can then just slide the lid to gain access.
  6. I'm going to seal mine with waterproof PVA, but I will now mix sand with the bee grip bit.

Yours Roy
 

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