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Author Topic: A few bees found dead in feeder????  (Read 1467 times)
stinger27
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« on: September 30, 2005, 07:38:42 PM »

Hey guys,
   I was feeding the bees today in my hive top feeder.  I notice about 15 bees dead around the feeder.  They looked like they were in good shape(wings were not worn).  Except everyone of them had their tongues hanging out.  A few of them were still barely clinging to life.  The only thing I can think of that would cause this would be the fact that I made the feeder out of a jello mold with the center cut out and a bowl over the top.  I set this over the inner cover and used an empty super to house it.  Some how the bees are still getting in the empty super around the feeder.  Since it was cold last night(42F).  Maybe they couldn't get back to the other bees and died.  I  would like to hear from you guy's as to what you think the problem is.
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    Stinger27
Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2005, 10:31:38 PM »

My bees have been out alone over night on the back side of hive with temps lower than that and were fine. Are you sure there were no contaminants on any of the stuff during the making of the feeder to feeding?
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stinger27
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2005, 11:56:13 PM »

I washed the feeder thoroughly after making it and made the sugar syrup fresh a couple days ago. I only did 2 things different than normal.  I changed from using denim fabric to pine straw in my smoker and I put a couple frames of foundation on each side of my feeder so they could have a larger winter store.  I don't think the frames could have came in contact with a contaminate.  Oh yeah I forgot.  The last syrup I fed them was still pretty warm because I just made it.  Could that cause a problem.
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    Stinger27
bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2005, 10:17:11 AM »

Quote
last syrup I fed them was still pretty warm because I just made it. Could that cause a problem.


I doubt it.  I did that a few weeks ago, and I didn't notice any problems.  How "warm" is warm?  Mine was about 5 or so degrees above room temperature.
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manowar422
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2005, 11:06:47 AM »

What was the jello mold made from? Plastic, metal???
Maybe the warm syrup caused some kind of reaction,
kind of like they are telling us to stop microwaving
foods in plastic containers.

As far as bees being able to fit through small spaces,
my experience is given here.

I made a small wooden box to stand two glass jars
over the inner cover's center hole.

Where the corners of my homemade box came together,
there was a TINY gap (less than 1/8") through which the
smaller of my bees would slip through and become trapped.

I couldn't imagine how they fit through that little space until
one did it before my eyes.

I quit feeding about that time, so I removed it and will either
close the cracks or re-make the box for spring feeding.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2005, 09:37:24 PM »

As far as size, worker bees can, and do, squeeze through 1/6" square holes.  If it's wider they can even get through 1/7".  One bent wire on #7 hardware cloth lets them in.

As far as dead bees.  Bees at feeders die.  Sometimes they drown.  Sometimes they fill up and can't seem to fly.  Maybe they're old.  I don't know why, but they do die.  If it's only a few, don't worry about it.  If it's a few dozen, that's still not outrageous.  If it's a few hundred I'd be looking for a different system.
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stinger27
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2005, 11:33:48 PM »

Thanks everyone for the help.  I will try to post a picture of my feeder in a couple days.  Im curious to see what you guys think of it.
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    Stinger27
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