We’ve talked before about issues with feeders and things to consider when choosing a type of feeder. Inverted jar feeders can be a great solution to spring feeding as they take care of many problems and don’t produce too many problems of their own.
One of the better functions of this type of feeder is that you’re able to feed far more sugar water than you’d be able to feed with an entrance feeder. Because this type of feeder takes up to four large canning jars (you could make one that took more than that!) you get a lot of sugar water on the hive at once.
The jars function much like a water cooler where the sugar water doesn’t come spilling out due to vacuum. This means unless you put the lid on incorrectly you’ll not have to worry about drowning bees.
You can actually use all sorts of other containers for this type of feeding that could allow you to put even more syrup on the hive. The best part of this feeder may well be the fact that it’s extremely easy to build yourself though if you go with canning jar size holes the hole saw you need to drill these holes could be a bit expensive.
This feeder allows you to put on more feed without opening the hive at all. Simply bring out new jars of syrup and change out the old jars. Usually this can be done without suiting up completely.
The feeder also puts the syrup in the hive rather than at the entrance, helping to reduce problems of robbing.
But like all feeders there are a few drawbacks. Often ants or other bugs will get into the feeder area since the bees aren’t able to clean out this space. If controlled with cinnamon or other ant controlling substance this isn’t a huge issue but it can get out of hand if you don’t pay attention.
You’ll also need an extra deep or western size super to surround the feeders so you can put on an outer cover. It’s not a ton of extra equipment but it is a slight added cost to the feeder itself.
Do you use this type of feeder or another feeder? Which is your favorite?
Photo by Jessica Dally