Feeding stations

This topic contains 4 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Errol 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #15434

    Errol
    Moderator

    I’ve been using different coloured milk and or fruit juice plastic bottle tops, Ados glued to a small board and sitting on a small swing hanging from the ceiling. But while the butterflies will happily feed from the bottle tops thinking they are coloured flowers, there is a recurring problem.

    Ants! They are continually getting in to the feeding station. I have tried all sorts of tricks to prevent them but the cunning little blighters still get to the nectar mixture.

    I’ve been reading about Terry’s feeding station for his admirals with a blue sponge/pot scraper in a bowl. It looks good and should be easy to clean, but does it still have problems with ants?

    Curiously too, the butterflies seem to prefer red, or orange bottle tops to any other colours.

    Do other members have trouble with ants?

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  • #30887

    Errol
    Moderator

    Thanks guys, I’ll now put your hints into practice.

    #30886

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    The shot of the feeder is posted on “photos’

    http://www.monarch.org.nz/monarch/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/feeder.jpg

    and can be made up from whatever materials you have at hand. As Terry mentions the stem can be wood,metal or plastic pipe, mine is an offcut of plastic waste pipe, and the pot, stem and saucer all stuck together with the good old hot melt gun. The plastic pot scrubbers are sometimes hard to source, mine came from Briscoes. The water in the bottom saucer stops the ants getting to the nectar, but make sure there are no plants overhanging the feeder, as I once found the ants climbing up the plant and dropping into the feeder. But of course they were stumped as they could not get off again.

    #30884

    Terry
    Moderator

    My method is very similar to Norms!
    I have 2 wooden feeding tables made from plywood and they can be either painted with normal undercoat or gloss or treated with non-poisonous wood preserver like the animal safe products for rabbits etc, wooden cages. Paint is better because some preservatives have insecticide in them. The reason you need to paint the materials used is that part of the dowel rod will be in water and will rot quickly if not sealed. If you can use a plastic or metal dowel rod, all the better, but I have managed ok with treated wood. At the base I have a 2,1/2inch flower pot with a hole drilled in the middle to take a length of dowel, the dowel is then inserted in to a hole drilled in to the plant bench via the hole in the flower pot. The flower pot holes are made watertight by sealing with clear silicon sealant and at the same time gluing it to the bench seals the bench and the other holes at the base of the flower pot making it water tight. When filled with water this creates the moat that the ants cannot cross to get to the dowel rod which would get them access to the nectar. The feeding table at the top is where the dish and nectar and scouring pot attractor are. See my latest video and it will give you an idea of how it looks in practice!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnMnXylNIwg&feature=youtu.be
    or
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/16358104@N08/7419795680/in/set-72157630235631074
    I cannot find a picture that shows the set up at the base of the table but I think the written description on this post should suffice!
    You can always try variations of this technique and maybe you will discover a better method that you can then share with us!
    Best of luck!!

    #30883

    NormTwigge
    Keymaster

    The way to prevent ants is to have your nectar bowl sitting in another bowl of water, creating a moat which the ants cannot cross. Ants are a problem where I am, so my feeding stations comprise of a plant pot dish to which a piece of plastic pipe has been glued vertically, with the nectar feeding container glued on top of the pipe. The lower dish contains the water which prevents the ants getting access to the feeder. I will take a photo of it tomorrow and post it to the ‘photos’ section.

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