How to Make a Feeder for Honeybees

Updated April 17, 2017

Honeybees naturally feed on pollen and produce honey to survive. When a new hive is installed, it needs to be fed until it has time to store up an adequate supply of honey. Hives also often need to be fed in late autumn and early spring because of the lack of nectar in the colder months. Feeding bees sugar water from a homemade feeder makes the hive's honey sweeter, an added bonus for hive owners.

Combine refined sugar and water in a pot. Fall feedings require 0.907kg. of refined sugar to 1 pint of water. Spring and summer feedings require 0.454kg. of refined sugar to 1 pint of water.

Heat the mixture to a boil slowly. Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool.

Fill a 1-gallon glass jar with the mixture. Poke 10 to 12 holes in the centre of the jar lid with a 1/16-inch drill bit. The holes need to be small enough that the feed mixture doesn't flow through them, so don't use anything larger. Screw the lid tightly on the jar.

Invert the glass jar and place it near the hive. Set the jar on top of two parallel pieces of scrap wood so that the lid is accessible to the bees.


Do not use an open container. Bees will drown if there is too much water.

Things You'll Need

  • Refined sugar
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Glass jar, 1 gallon
  • Drill bit, 1/16-inch
  • Scrap wood
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author