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Worker bee drinking sugar water at bucket feeder.

DIY Bucket Feeder for Bees

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Learn how to make a DIY feeder bucket for your beehives using a 3 or 5 gallon bucket and lid.
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Tools

  • Drill
  • Small drill bit

Supplies
 

  • 1 piece Bucket 5 gallon or 3 gallon

Instructions
 

  • Choose a plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid. A 5 gallon bucket is common but a 3 gallon version will do as well. The bucket needs to have a rim or collar near the top.
    Five gallon bucket for bee feeder with red arrow pointing to the collar.
  • Use a drill with a small bit to make holes from the inside wall of the bucket towards the outside. One hole per section of the collar. Do not drill through the outer wall of the collar.
    Using drill to make holes from the inside out around the bucket collar.
  • Check the fit of your lid. It should fit snuggly with no leaks. Try it with some water to make sure.
    DIY bee feeder bucket with lid.
  • With the bucket upside down (lid on tightly) the red arrow shows where the bees will drink sugar water.
    Bee feeder ports in the rim of a bucket.
  • Fill the bucket with sugar water and place lid on tightly. Outside at a place well away from the hives, flip the bucket over quickly. Some sugar water will run out until a vacuum is reached.
    Make sure you have a level place to sit your feeder bucket before filling it with sugar water.
    Bucket bee feeder outside with a level to make sure it sits properly.

Video

Notes

Any size bucket with a tight fitting lid will work.  Three gallon size is best for some - even though 5 gallon holds more syrup.   Will you be able to quickly flip over a 5 gallon bucket full of sugar water?
Expect to have some spillage.  The more syrup you have in the bucket the less waste as the vacuum will happen quicker.
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