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Author Topic: drowned bees in hive top feeder  (Read 4304 times)
a wannabee
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« on: April 22, 2008, 08:43:12 PM »

2 weeks ago I cleaned out the drowned bees from the hive top feeder. This week there are many drowned again. I only look in the hive every 2-3 weeks. Will the dead bees be harmful to the bees that are drinking around them? I use the hive top feeder from Rossman.
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 09:14:33 PM »

Not a good idea and you need to find the problem. Can anyone help here, as I do not have any experience with this type of feeder and do not know what the problem can be.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 10:06:58 PM »

In the space provided for them to get to the feed?  Or in the top?
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Michael Bush
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Tucker1
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 10:56:08 AM »

Wannabee:  This may be the same problem that I faced a while back.  Here is the forum string that covers that topic.
It's a bit disheartening to find a feeder with drown bees. Hope this information will be helpful

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=14519.0

Regards
Tucker1
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2008, 12:24:06 PM »

This happens often to hive top feeders. I duct tape all the screen seams before adding syrup from inside feeder. I also line edge of feeder w/ strips of window insulation that has a sticky side and is foam on all four edges and the whole lenght. This stops bees from getting under telescoping lid and into feeder and drowning. The duct tape stops them from getting in from the inside. The other way is to duct tape inside and then place a piece of screen on top of feeder and then place top on. Screen needs to be a little bigger than the lid size. The screen prevents the bees fro getting in from outside like insulation does.
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a wannabee
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2008, 02:41:06 PM »

The bees that are drowning are in the area they are supposed to be in. They come up the middle of the feeder and climb down the screen to drink but then drown. I wonder if there are so many bees drinking that they get forced into the sugar water and cant get back to the screen. It seems odd though because there is such a small gap between the plastic wall and the screen. Its seems they would be able to grab hold of the screen and climb back out. Maybe I could put somthing that would float like packing peanuts but again the space is so narrow that putting something in the drinking area may get hung up in the narrow gap that the bees feed in and not fluctuate with the level of the syrup.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 10:11:59 PM »

Are you pouring the sugar syrup into the feeder sort of fast??? Once I poured the syrup in fast and many bees that were behind the screen could not get up fast enough. Many bees drowned that time.  Also I agree with Konasdad about duct taping down the opening where the screens meet the feeder. That is how most of my bees drowned.

Sorry I did not understand before that this feeder was just like mine. Mine is a Mann Lake model and I thought yours would be something entirely different.

Keep us posted.

annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 10:33:28 PM »

Some bees always drown in any method of feeding.  It's just whether or not they stay where you can find them or they end up hauled out the door.  Jars leak.  Top feeders drown some bees but the access being limited helps.  Buckets leak.  Sometimes top feeders leak.  Frame feeders drown a lot of bees.  Feeding is hard on bees.

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Michael Bush
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a wannabee
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2008, 04:40:58 PM »

The last time I cleaned them out and refilled it there were no bees coming up for a drink yet, so there were not any drowned by filling up too fast. (I thought that might be the case the first time I filled it). I guess I'm more concerned with the health issue it may create for them drinking from a pool of decomposing bees.
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Rich V
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2008, 12:20:08 AM »

I cut a small piece of wood about 1/16 by 1/16 the length of the feeder and put it where the bees come down to feed, so they have something to stand on. Make sure its free and floats in the syrup.it will save the lives of many bees.
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Rob Steff.
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2008, 05:02:45 PM »

I just went through I similar problem with my bees, although I have a different kind of hive top feeder than you do. I had a lot of dead bees steeped in the syrup until I got a piece of course sandpaper and really scratched up the plastic surface to give the bees a better grip. That took care of the problem.
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2008, 05:24:33 PM »

I do not know for sure, but I remember someone telling me it is not a good thing to have dead bees in the syrup they drink.

Let's hear from others!!
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mairghead
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2008, 05:46:54 PM »

My brother took some mesh wire and created a scalloped ramp up and down the trough on both sides of the internal feeder.  We use one like the plans on beesource.  So far, I've tested the new wire and still had drowning.  I don't know that it was any better than without the ramps.  I'll try to get a picture up this weekend, but my home computer is geriatric and fussy.  My brother is using the feeders that replace a frame in the super this year and seems to have less drowning.

I ended up switching to a jar feeder yesterday due to the humidity levels we are having in St Louis.  I noticed the inside of the cover had some mildew on it.  We've had constant rain and wet conditions here for a while and the internal feeder I think was causing the hive to hold more humidity than I am comfortable with.

Good Luck,
Jackie
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2008, 11:12:22 PM »

I have yet to find any system or device for feeding bees that doesn't result in some type of mortality rate.  Some systems have a higher death toll than others.  The least damage is using jars, cans, or ziplock bags.
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Shizzell
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2008, 02:12:05 AM »

I really enjoy top feeders, simply because you don't have to take out a frame, or disrupt the bees like frame feeders.

One way from having them not all drown is I find (after careful watching) that the bees slip down from the walls of the feeder. (Sometimes they make those plastic walls too smooth)

What I do is sand with course sand paper the sides of it and rough em up real well.

I have noticed quite a few less deaths as a result, but your always going to have fatalities with everything the bees do. Heck, even mating results in a death Wink

Jake
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2008, 08:48:21 AM »

There are virtually always (except with cans and jars) some dead bees in the syrup they drink.  It's just a matter of degree...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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a wannabee
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2008, 08:56:00 PM »

Thanks for the tips, i would like to see the pictures if you have a chance. Roughing the sides sounds like a good idea, I'll try it out.
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