Kathy, hmmm...I don't think a feather duster would work. It has really (well mine does) deep feathery fluffy things, I think the bees may get lost inside it. I wouldn't use it. But it was a good thought, soft and all that.
The feathers sound good, not too long, quite soft but at the same time stiff enough that they "flick" the bees off. Bees should be quickly "flicked", not brushed, they get really eeded off if they are brushed, well, mine do, I flick them quickly and they go flyin'. If I brush slowly they attack the apparatus. Have a wonderful and greatest of this great day, Cindi