danno, the dead bees didn't come from the out side. The feeders I bought are twin tank with a center access and four feeding stations. Sold by Rossman Apiaries, no slam on them. http://www.gabees.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=596
I got tired of digging dead bees out of the feeding stations so I cut some 3/8th dowel to fit dipped them in wax and put them in the slots. Still a few died, in much smaller numbers, so I just figured that was the trade-off.
I'm not concerned with mold, it's easy to change the hay. I'm gonna use really cheap tanks, like throw away bread pans, stuff them with hay and fill with 1-1. I want to build up early so I can split, I need more drones. I understand that drones are produced when a good flow is on and pollen is available. Stuff is blooming here, the bees are bringing in pollen. It's supposed to be 62degF today and sunny. I think a couple of my colonies are ready for more room.
Enough information about whats going on. I don't see any down side with this type of feeding(pan filled with hay) it's just dried grass. After seeing the type of watering holes bees frequent dried grass is pretty clean. After what I observed last summer, the bees can burrow down into the hay and even if they get in the syrup they can drag themselves out. The really big plus is the lack of assembly time, no fiberglass, no wax dipping. All you need is a super, a cheap pan, hay and syrup. Set the pan on top of the frames, put a super on to enclose it and, let the bees do the rest.
I know it's old technology but it works. What's the worst that can happen? I just wanted a few more opinions and perspectives. More brains and eyes on a problem are always a plus.