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How to Make a DIY Bee Feeder With a Mason Jar

03 May

 Learn how to make a DIY bee feeder.  Use this mason jar bee feeder to supplement your bees with extra food when their natural food may be scarce.  This is an easy DIY, and you can upcycle the jar.  Older kids can help learn how to make a bee feeder so they can learn more about bees.


We believe in letting nature do its thing.  After all, bees, birds, and critters have survived for 1000s of years without human intervention.


However, there are times that we need to step in.  We've nursed animals back to health and provided shelter or food for animals when they need it.


This honey bee feeder DIY is a supplement.  The bees are essential to our ecosystem, and they help us grow food.  So in turn, I want to help them.  





This honey bee feeder DIY can supplement food for bees during certain conditions.  While it shouldn't be used all the time, it will help bees get a food source when there might not be one available.


How to Make a DIY Bee Feeder


We don't keep bees.  I'd like to, and it's something we've planned on starting on the farm.  It just keeps getting pushed back, so I'm doing things like making a bee house for mason bees and learning how to make a bee feeder.  


I did some research before I made this bee feeder.  Generally, bees do a great job finding food.  The food that they find is best for bees to live and make honey if they are honey bees.


However, there are times when you need to supplement their food.  If it's been dry or there is a draught, you should use this DIY bee feeder to help them find food easier.


If you start a new honeybee colony, you may need to supplement with a mason jar bee feeder at first so they can find a source of food without expelling a lot of energy.


You can also use this honey bee feeder DIY in the early spring when bees are active but there aren't many food sources.


You could just set out pans of sugar water, but these pans will also attract wasps, birds, racoons, and even skunks.  This DIY bee feeder is more likely to be used only by bees.





What Do You Feed Bees?


Honey is the best supplement for bees.  However, you want to only feed them local honey and preferably their own honey.


Honey from other regions or colonies could introduce diseases that can wipe out a colony.


You can also feed them sugar.  Bees need to dissolve sugar in water, so we will be using sugar water for this DIY bee feeder.


Note that bees do not need a lot of sugar water.  You should only supplement if there is a draught and bees can't find their own food. 


If you do use sugar, use cane sugar or another fine granule of sugar.


Should You Leave Sugar Water Out for Bees?


You can leave sugar water out for bees in a honey bee feeder DIY, but you shouldn't do it all the time.  Only leave out sugar water 


Do Bees Need to Drink Water?


Yes, bees do need to drink water.  Pollen is rather dry, so bees need  good water source.  If you want to, you could make another mason jar bee feeder and use it just for water.


Bees can't swim, but they can stand on the rocks and drink water from this mason jar bee feeder.





Can You Feed Bees Too Much Sugar Water?


Yes, it is possible to feed bees too much sugar water.  You should only use a honey bee feeder DIY when there is a draught or the colony is new.  


You may also need to use a DIY bee feeder in early spring when the bees can't find their own food.  You can also supplement in the late fall when bees need to store energy for the winter.


Should I Feed My Bees in the Spring?


You may need to use a DIY bee feeder in the spring.  The bees will be active, but there may not be food sources.  


You can supplement with this DIY bee feeder until the flowers start to blossom.


Should You Feed Bees in the Summer?


Generally, you should not feed bees in the summer.  Unless there is a draught, let them feed on nectar.


Can Bees Turn Sugar Water Into Honey?


No, bees can not turn sugar water into honey.  Honey can only be made with nectar.  If you feed too much sugar water, the bees can not make honey.  


The bees will still use it to make a honey like substance.  It's not true honey, it it is edible.  





What is the Sugar to Water Ratio for Bees?


To make sugar water for your mason jar bee feeder, use a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar and water.  You can measure by volume or weight.


To make a gallon, use 10 2/3 cups of sugar and 10 2/3 cups of water.


How Do You Make Bee Feeder Syrup?


To make a sugar syrup for your mason jar bee feeder, simply combine equal parts white sugar and water.  You'll want to boil the water first.  


Then remove the water from the heat and add the sugar.  Stir well to dissolve.


Let cool completely and store in the fridge.  Add more sugar water to your DIY bee feeder as needed.


How Long Will Sugar Water for Bees Last?


Sugar was will last almost indefinitely in the fridge.  However, it can ferment if left outside.  I recommend changing the water daily or every two days.  


Do a sniff test.  If it smells fermented, toss it and rinse out the jar well.


How Do You Make a Watering Station for a Bee?


You can use this mason jar bee feeder as a watering station for bees too.  You can either make two of them or clean it out and use it for water in the summer.


Mason Jar Bee Feeder Supplies


To make a DIY bee feeder, you will need:


If you don't have a jar, you can also buy a waterer and jar in one.





How Do You Make a Bee Feeder Out of a Mason Jar


Step #1


Spread glue all over the bottom of the jar.  I used a scrap piece of cardboard to do this.  Start wrapping the yard or twine around in a circle to cover the bottom of the jar.  Then glue small sections of the jar and keep wrapping until it is all wrapped.





Step #2

Cut a piece of felt into a 2 inch circle.  Place it about in the middle on one side of the jar.  Attach it with glue.


Step #3


Cut a piece of yarn to go around the black felt.  Glue it in place.





Step #4


Fill the jar with your prepared sugar water.  Place the lid on the jar and flip it over.  Place rocks in the lid so the bees have something to stand on while they eat.





Now you know how to make a bee feeder!  I hope your family enjoys this fun nature craft idea.  Just remember to only feed the bees during certain times, but you can also use this as a waterer all the time.


bee feeder
Yield: 1 bee feeder
Author: Cari @ Koti Beth
Estimated cost: $5

How to Make a DIY Bee Feeder

prep time: 5 Mperform time: 10 Mtotal time: 15 M
How to make an easy bee feeder.

materials:

  • Yarn  or nautical rope
  • E6000 glue
  • Water lids
  • Black Felt
  • 30 Ounce mayonnaise jar 
  • Small pebbles

tools:

  • Scissors
  • Cardboard (to smear the glue with)

steps:

  1. Spread glue all over the bottom of the jar. I used a scrap piece of cardboard to do this. Start wrapping the yard or twine around in a circle to cover the bottom of the jar. Then glue small sections of the jar and keep wrapping until it is all wrapped.
  2. Cut a piece of felt into a 2 inch circle. Place it about in the middle on one side of the jar. Attach it with glue.
  3. Cut a piece of yarn to go around the black felt. Glue it in place.
  4. Fill the jar with your prepared sugar water. Place the lid on the jar and flip it over. Place rocks in the lid so the bees have something to stand on while they eat.

NOTES:

Bees only need feed in early spring and late fall.  Do not feed in the summer except in times of drought.
Created using Craft Card Maker


For more outdoor DIY ideas, check out these posts:



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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, and several chickens. She loves Gilmore Girls, glitter, coffee, and her kids. But not in that order.

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