Instructables
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I have lived in the woods my entire life and have enjoyed nature all around. I have seen so many bees that have died in buckets, water puddles, and anything that has collected water that they were trying to get to. This is something that I have come up with on my 3D printer to help out some.

 
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Step 1: CAD Design

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Create a shape and size that will work for you. In the design have the pillars in the middle stager in height from one another. That way as the water goes down new pillars breaker the waters surface giving the bees islands to land on for the water.

Step 2: Box & Cast

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Getting everything together for making a mold box and setting that up. Double back Duct tape is what I put on the base to anchor the part in with. I used some plexiglass and siliconed the seams together. Once that had a good amount of time for the silicone to cure, I used a universal mold release. Letting that set for about 15 minutes. Then casting a 1 by 1 part concrete rubber molding material. I let that set for about 5 hours. Then I pulled the part from the mold.

Step 3: Releasing & Concrete

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When the mold is fully cured, I use a universal mold release again for inside the concrete rubber mold. Letting that set for about 5 minutes. Using a concrete patch repair mix is what I use next. Mixing that until it is a puddling like thickness with it. Casting that into the mold then a bit of shacking the mold to level the concrete out for a smooth bottom look, and that will help get any air bubbles out. I would let the mold set for about an hour. Then if the concrete was solid enough, I will tip it up and have a fan on it for the next 2 - 3 hours. After that amount of time it would be ready to pull from the mold.

Step 4: Drying & Sealing

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After the part has been pulled from the mold I will tell it dry for 3 - 5 days. Once you can touch it and feel no moister its ready to seal. I feel that 2 coats of a non toxic sealer is the minimum. Apply the first coat and let that set for 24 hours. After that apply the second cost and let that set for the same amount of time, 24 hours.

Step 5: Hardware 1

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So while everything with the part is setting, drying, and sealing putting together all of the hardware is something that can be done. I used some "S" clips to connect to the hanging hooks using a pair of needle nose pliers.

Step 6: Hardware 2

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I built this jig for cutting the chains, and assembling the rest of the hardware together. I would measure a chain to the length that I needed it to be, and then hook another one beside it to then cut to length. I use 4 chains to 1 Hydro Hive. When I have the chains cut to length I then clip the hooks to the bar. Then I connect the ends of the chains to the "S" clip and then close it down with the needle nose pliers. There should now be 4 loose chains ends hanging. I use a key chain loop to connect the 4 chain ends together. At this point it is completed to place the Hydro Hive inside the chain hanger to place it outside where you want to put it.

Step 7: Done & Done

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Have it outside hanging in the garden, filled with water. Good to go.

Step 8:

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poofrabbit3 months ago

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

Dylan Larsen (author)  poofrabbit3 months ago

Much thanks!!!!! to have made this far a amazing and was a lot of fun!

Dylan Larsen (author) made it!3 months ago

A batch of Hydro Hives (gen 2) getting ready to be sealed

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ElectroFrank3 months ago

It's wonderful to see the site's comment policy being used to inspire instructables:

"We have a bee nice comment policy.
Please bee positive and constructive."

Dylan Larsen (author)  ElectroFrank3 months ago

I dig it! Got to love this site. A lot of my friends and coworkers are getting accounts set up on here just because to the structure of it.

Nice work looking after the bees. We need them!

I like the use of 3d printing, the mold came out great.

Dylan Larsen (author)  mastersoncraft3 months ago

Thank you. I have some more things I plan to build for the same cause as well as i get the time to. 3D printers are great, but they do need a lot on babying at times lol .

elmuchacho73 months ago

Really nice Dylan, Would you share the stl files for the print on thingiverse or similar? Thx for sharing.

Dylan Larsen (author)  elmuchacho73 months ago

I would love to but the one in the pic had some problems that I wanted to fix. So i deleted the STL. And the new I have looks great though the filter is pulling parts off of it. I am trying to work with Nettfab right now to repair it. If i can get that going I post an STL for sure in Thingiverse hands down.

dolsovsky3 months ago
Thank you for the heads up!
Dylan Larsen (author)  dolsovsky3 months ago

More than welcome. I would say look them up and see what one looks like it would best for you and your needs.

dolsovsky3 months ago
Are 3D printers extremely expensive? I love your projects results.
Dylan Larsen (author)  dolsovsky3 months ago

They have come down a lot, and are getting more and more lower in cost these days. There are some kits out there that are really good to play with for a lot less in cost.

That is totally dope. I love it!

Dylan Larsen (author)  The Green Gentleman3 months ago

Thank you! I really appreciate that.

Dylan Larsen (author)  The Green Gentleman3 months ago

Thank you! I really appreciate that.

GardenGranny3 months ago

Great idea! Fortunately for ME, my son and daughter own a 3D printer they're willing to use for Mom's projects. I'd love do have them make me a hydro hive like yours! If I get it done, I'll send pics!

Very elegant design! Congratulations :)

Dylan Larsen (author)  probablepossible3 months ago

Much thanks. I really appreciate those kind words.

Cool idea :) might have to make one for my cousin/neighbor if/when I get my hands on a 3d printer

cbrown53 months ago

Very cool tutorial! It also has great info for casting other items out of silicon using concrete. Any chance you could provide the CAD drawing/3D printer file or a link where we could order one from you?

Dylan Larsen (author)  cbrown53 months ago

All the CAD info that I had on this model was deleted soon after. I am a bit new to this stuff here. I am working on opening up a small concrete business to make a lot of different styles of these and other things as well. I am working on setting up an Etsy & Amazon account. You can find my on Facebook to "Saintd Nesreal" once I have some stock they will be ready to do, and on there you can see the new one that I have.

Dylan Larsen (author)  Dylan Larsen3 months ago

Misspelling on that "Saintd Nesral".

Cool! Thank you sir!

Thinkenstein3 months ago

I like the basic idea of hanging it, but I think the weight and cost could be reduced using other materials. It could be mounted on a post, too, like a bird bath. A spiral ramp would probably work as well as islands of different heights.

I am paranoid of breeding mosquitos here in my neck of the woods. I could easily foresee forgetting to dump it frequently. I have a guppy pond and the fish eat any mosquito larvae. Bees sometimes gather around the edge to drink. They seem to prefer an area that has some nylon fishnet draping over it, perhaps because it gives them more secure footing.

jkimball3 months ago

Isn't it awfully heavy to hang? Concrete plus water = a deep anchor for whatever you are hanging it from.

clara m3 months ago

I love this ! I've used straw on the surface of my rainbarrel to prevent my bees from drowning but this is so much cooler !

Chopper Rob3 months ago
Any way to keep the water moving? Or do you dump it out regularly? I love bees, but hate Mosquitos.

Bees prefer stagnant water. A small piece of BT dunk will not harm the bees and will kill mosquito larva. (BT is a biological larvacide)

Dylan Larsen (author)  Chopper Rob3 months ago

I am more than sure that there are a lot of different ways to do that. The one that comes to mind right of that bat would be to drill a hole to the side or bottom and silicone some fish tank tubbing in, and hook that up to a bubbler pump. Those can even have little filters add on to them.

If you put it where it will get plenty of sunshine you won't have to worry about mosquitoes-I think.

WVSundown3 months ago

Great idea and I love your beautiful
design! Bees and butterflies both need shallow watering solutions. I have toad
houses with toad pools, mosaic terra-cotta pot saucers, which I fill with water
for the toads to refresh themselves. The bees line up around the rim to drink
when the toads aren't around.

dataphool3 months ago

Neat idea. Criticism: would have liked a pic of a worker bee or two at the fountain.

Dylan Larsen (author)  dataphool3 months ago

I fully agree with you on that one. I have been running around to get this set up for a convention coming up, so i have been work quick and had no time to wait for the bees. Where I live there really isn't a lot of them anymore. One more reason for building them. I do have a pic of a yellow jacket getting some use out of it though lol

jmwells3 months ago
Want help the bees year round? Add a sugar solution in fall/winter for feeding. Or even a store bought humming bird solution.
Dylan Larsen (author)  jmwells3 months ago

I really do, and I am hoping to start building some hives this fall for summer. I dig the sugar/humming bird solution. Much thanks,

mdhteach3 months ago
very cool... I have two sprinkler valves that leak a bit and the bees love it...

this is a great, beautiful solution... I would add a drip emitter to keep it filled... but it is awesome just as you made it!!! :)
Dylan Larsen (author)  mdhteach3 months ago

Thanks for the input on that. That is a very cool addition for it.