Protein feeder – Cheap to build, works well!

I was asked how I feed protein to my bees. Short answer is with a feeder I make using 4 inch PVC pipe with a cap and downspout adapter. I add a round piece of ½” hard ware cloth to keep out the big critters. The feeder is placed in my bee yard at a convenient place such as on a stand or bungee strapped to the fence. Basically any place that keeps it in place and stable will work.

These are the pieces available from any big box hardware store:

  • 3 in. x 4 in. x 4 in. PVC rectangular downspout adapter for schedule 20 PVC pipe
  • 4 in solid end cap for 4 in. schedule 20 PVC pipe
  • 12 in section from a 10 ft x 4 in PVC pipe (makes about 9 feeders because the bell shaped end is not usable. Share pipe with friends)
  • ½ in hardware cloth cut to fit into the inside of the downspout adapter. Nothing is glued so that washing it is easy.

Cost: 10 foot section of pipe $11, pipe cap and downspout adapter $3 each. So each feeder is about $8. Use the extra pipe to make extra feeders to sell or partner with other beekeepers.  

I add the protein supplement through the open end letting the protein powder sift through the hardware cloth and shake it to level the supplement out.

Looks like this in the bee yard:

Works well for me. In early spring before any blooms the bees can move a lot of protein supplement.