I installed first package of bees and queen on Monday. Tonite(Wednesday), I noticed quite a few dead bees in the sugar water inside the feeder. I'm using a top feeder. Is this normal?
Those top feeders are tricky, I know because I use one from Mann Lake. I have drowned bees also until I learned something. Those bees are down on the screen and if you pour the syrup very quickly, they do not have time to go up. I once poured syrup in the evening and was super fast in pouring it. the next day there were a pile of wet sticky bees on the ground in front of the hive. I could not figure out what had happened, until I went to Sacramento Bee Keeping Store. They told me I really need to smoke the bees to make them go down, then pour the syrup slowly. Well I do not like to smoke so much, so I do not smoke them, but I pour the syrup really, really slow and you can actually see the bees trying to get up out of the screened area so they do not get wet.
Of course, there will always be a few dead bees in the sugar syrup, because they find a way of getting around that screened area, but if you pour slowly, you will not find to many.
Let me know if this helped you
Annette from Placerville California