Baggie feeder on a hive top

How to make a baggie feeder

  • Fill a good quality quart-, or gallon-sized Zip-lock™ style freezer bag about three-quarters full of syrup.
  • Seal it carefully.
  • Check the seal for leaks by holding the bag upside down.
  • Install a shim on top of the hive to make enough room for the baggie.
  • Place the baggie on top of the frames.
  • Use a sharp razor blade to make a 3” slit for quart-sized bags (a longer slit is used for gallon bags) in the top center of the bag so the bees can access the syrup. The slit should be only on the flat, top surface of the bag, not where it begins to curve downward towards the edge. You can use more than one baggie at a time.
  • Replace the inner cover and hive top.

Don’t worry; the baggie will not collapse and flood the hive. It keeps its shape and the bees will come and drink from the slit.

How to make a mason jar feeder

You will need a spare empty deep box to surround these feeders if you use quart jars.

  1. Take the flat portion of the two-piece lid and use a small finish nail to make 6 to 8 small punctures in it, punching from the inside of the lid towards the outside. Make the holes with just the tip of the nail, not driving it through to the shank.
  2. Fill the jar with syrup and install the reassembled lid tightly.
  3. Turn the jar over to test the seal and see how fast the holes weep syrup. After a vacuum has formed, the jars should stop dripping and allow the bees to collect syrup in a controlled way from underneath the upside down jar. Keep the jars upside down after testing the seals to maintain the vacuum.
  4. Set the jar on top of the frames, inside the empty box. You can have more than one jar dispensing syrup at the same time. It is helpful to set them up on short pieces of furring strips to allow the bees to reach the entire lid area.
  5. Replace the inner cover and the hive top.
Punctured FeederJar on stripsFeeder inside the hive

With both of these feeders, it’s important to cover the notch in the rim of the inner cover with bee-proof screening to prevent robbers from entering the hive and having direct access to the syrup.