I am using a Miller type hive top feeder and discovered some mildew forming on the feeder and the outer cover. I admit to a couple mistakes. My first mistake was in not finishing the inside of the outer cover, maybe this started the mildew. Second mistake was I finished the inside of the feeder with Safecoat water based poly finish which is by itself a great product, but then I coated the entire inside of the feeder with melted paraffin wax. One should only do the seams, otherwise the wax could separate from the finished inside surface. This is what happened to my feeder. The feeder plans I used were the plans from BeeSource. I am using a slatted bottom rack over a IPM Screened bottom board (with slide out board removed) It seems as though ventalation should not be a problem. I have just built and installed a new feeder and outer cover. I flushed the old syrup and started the new feeder with a new batch of syrup. I will remove the excess wax from the old feeder and plan to re use for another colony some day.
My questions are:
Is mildew a common problem using this type of feeder?
Is mildew a hazard? (the syrup looked fine except for a few small bee parts?)
Is it common to find drowned bees? I am guessing the drowning may have resulted during the topping off of the feeder syrup. I'll try to top off slowley in the future.
Thanks in advance for any replies and/or tips you all may have!