How to Make a DIY Bee Feeder
Learn how to make a DIY bee feeder with a mason jar or upcycled mayonnaise jar. This is an easy craft, and it's great for older kids or adults. Use it to supplement your bees in the spring and fall.
Bees don't need food all the time. They can't make honey from sugar water, so don't give them food all the time. You should only supplement in the early spring and in the late fall. They may need some extra food in the summer when it's very dry. Learn more about how and when to supplement in my DIY bee feeder post. You can also use this as a bee waterer in the summer.
You will need:
- Watering lid
- Thick yarn or nautical rope
- E6000 glue
- Black felt
- 30 ounce mason jar or quart jar
- Scrap cardboard
Spread the glue on the bottom of the jar. Use the scrap cardboard to spread it around because it will ruin a brush. Then start in the middle of the bottom and wrap the yarn around. Add more glue in small sections and wrap until you reach the neck of the jar.
Cut a 2 inch circle with black felt. Cut a small piece of yarn to wrap around it and glue in place.
Fill the jar with sugar water. I use 1:1 sugar and water. Heat the water and then remove from heat. Add the sugar and let cool. Then fill up the jar, attach the lid, and add the rocks. Bees need the rocks because they can't swim.
Then set in your yard for the bees. Remember to only feed sugar water when you need to. If there's nectar, they should be eating nectar.
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Frequently asked questions
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Em on May 09, 2021
Generally, there are two situations in which feeders must be used; when a new colony is being established and when winter is coming. When a new colony is being established, feeders have to be used because they still do not have any resources.
Being new to the area, bees need to be fed so that they will have the energy to familiarize themselves with their surroundings and then gather their own food. This is the most common time when bee feeders are usually bought and utilized.
Another situation when feeders are utilized is during winter. Obviously, only a few flowers grow during winter so the bees will have a lack of nectar resources. Bees will always make sufficient storage of honey during the summer and fall in preparation for winter. So, in order to help them, you can always encourage their work and have them create more honey by using a beehive feeder especially during the autumn season wherein winter comes after.
However, it is recommended that you have to assess whether the bees actually need the extra hand because they are pretty self-sufficient and using a bee feeder must only be used as a last resort when their resources are actually insufficient or rapidly depleting.
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Koti Beth Designs on May 09, 2021
There's a lot more info in the original blog post about when to feed. You can also use this as a waterer and don't add the sugar water. https://www.kotibeth.com/2021/05/how-to-make-diy-bee-feeder-with-mason.html
Melinda Lou Mast on May 15, 2021
Thank you for the information!
Can a hummingbird feeder base also be used?
What is the purpose of the black felt circle ??
What’s a watering lid? Where can you find them? Thanks