>I like the simplicity of Mr Bush’s bottom feeder too.
It's only Jay Smith's bottom board feeder adapted to my top entrance only and so that I can fill without moving anything.
>I see all kinds of debris on the bottom of my hives, wax capping, bee parts, wax moths, who knows what else. What is the result when these things fall into syrup in the bottom feeder?
Let's put this all in perspective. A bottom board feeder is only my favorite feeder because:
1) it's basically free
2) it works
It is probably not the best feeder, but it drowns no more bees than a frame feeder (it does drown some and I always hate that). It gets dead bees in it (as does a frame feeder) and I'm sure debris as well. When I'm using them I feed just before dark and just pour syrup in from a bucket. I spill some, but it has dried up by morning and they've eaten what was on the bottom board, usually by morning. If not, then I'm giving them too much for the temperature or the size of the hive. I usually use warm syrup, which they take more quickly. Is there a problem with debris? I haven't concerned myself with it. It does not appear to cause any issues.
> Does that generate mold or disease?
All syrup will mold if too much is left for too long. Since my goal is to give them what they clean up that night, it is usually not an issue. It's dry and empty by morning or I give them less the next day.
> When a bee dies in my commercial feeders, within a week or two, they’re covered with mold.
It is the same with the bottom board feeder.
>However being a top feeder, I can see the problem quickly and remove the moldy green/gray bee. If a bee falls into the open bottom feeder, how do you monitor for that and remove the dead bee(s) before they get too decomposed, or is that not a real problem?
I try not to feed at all. When I do I feed until they are heavy enough, pull the plug and clean the bottom board in the spring. I hasn't been a problem.
>Michael’s bottom feeder is an innovative idea, I was just wondering if the debris concern into a bottom feeder was a valid concern or not.
It depends on if you want to be concerned or not. I choose not to be. :)
> I have never tried it, so I was speculating and asking questions at the same time. It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good solution for dealing with those concerns (hose down or swap out). That is good. The bottom feeder is certainly a low cost solution. As you say, the cost of top feeder would really start to add up if you move beyond the hobbyist (me) level.
That was my main motivation. I was looking at buying 200 feeders or making bottom board feeders out of my bottom boards which I had to buy anyway.