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June gap is a tough time for bee colonies because there is a shortage of food for the bees. It is a very strange phenomenon that occurs in United Kingdom and some other countries of the world. The term June gap refers to the shortage of nectar and pollen for the bees. This makes the survival of the colonies a lot more difficult.
The reason behind this problem could be because of the overpopulation of bees. The bee colony grows very rapidly during the months of May. This also increases the consumption for food resulting in its shortage.
During the periods of food shortage or June gap, the beekeepers need to provide food to the bee colony so as keep them going. Without a proper supply of food, bees become weak and they might even die. Bees are generally given sugar syrup in the sugar water ratio of 2:1 or 1:1. They are also given pollen in powder form. In order to feed bees, you need different types of bee feeders.
In this article, you will learn to make homemade bee feeders for your bee colonies in a few simple steps
Types of bee feeders available
Bottom board feeders
Making a Boardman feeder
Making this feeder at home is very simple all you need is a big container and a lid which should be wider in size than the container. It is advised to use a lid that is shallow enough to prevent bees from drowning.
Invert the container over the lid and make a very small notch so that a small amount of syrup falls from container to the lid. This will fill up the lid with sugar syrup when the bees drink up the syrup.
You can place this feeder on the top or bottom of the hive as per your requirement. Placing the feeder at the top makes it easily accessible and you can refill or remove it without much difficulty.
Making an Open feeder
The open feeder can be accessed by more than one colony of bees as they are generally placed outside the beehive. You can make it using any wide container. You can also add floats to the container to prevent bees from drowning.
The best thing about these feeders is that you need not to install separate feeders in every hive.
Making an Inverted container feeder
It is a great bee feeder that you can make at home. All you need is a container like a jar or paint can. You need to fill this bottle with syrup and turn it upside down. This forms a vacuum and due to air pressure, the container holds the sugar syrup. You can place this feeder at the top of the hive to make it easy for the bees to access it. However, these feeders are more prone to leakage.
So these are some easy to make bee feeder you can build at home. Feeding bees during periods of food shortage and necessary and as a beekeeper you need to protect your bees from starving. You can make these homemade bee feeders in a few simple steps and can save yourself from buying an expensive one from the bee’s supplies store.