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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA
    Posts
    5

    Post

    I built a couple Miller hive-top feeders for atop my old hive and new hive. The bees seem to figure out quickly how to get the sugar water, but both times I have used the feeder at the end of the day I have anywhere from a couple dozen to perhaps a hundred dead bees floating in the sugar water. Is this normal? I think I followed the directions for construction pretty well and I can't quite figure out why this mortality.

    Any ideas or advice?

    ------------------
    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bowdoinham, Maine, USA
    Posts
    78

    Big Grin

    Good morning fellow Maine beekeeper. About your feeder problem, I do not use this kind of feeder but I have read about them a couple times. Are you using any kind of "float" in your feeder? I think a thin piece of Styrofaom, cut just smaller than the demensions of the feeder will act as a "raft" for the bees to stand on while they feed but protect them from falling into the liquid. Others here on the board will undoubtedly have more and maybe better advice for you but this is just a thought. Good luck and Happy Beeing
    David

    ------------------
    Maine-ly Bees
    David Wallace and Family
    Bowdoinham, ME
    dwallace@llbean.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Columbiana, AL
    Posts
    69
    In my homebuilt miller type feeders,I take a piece of insect screening fold it in half.Then cut it to the length of the slot that the bees go down into to drink,just open it up some and push it down in the slot(firction fit).This serves as a foot hold and as a containment to keep them out of the sugar water.I also will float a thin piece of wood in there too.(like a piece of wood from a frame,the piece you hold the foundation in with at the top.)hope this helps...JOHN

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Thanks for tips, David & John. I'll go rig up something this morning and see how it works. It only makes sense to provide some type of safety net or life preserver, and I should have thought of that myself before. I'll let you know how the modications turn out.

    David - I took the Maine Cooperative Extension's beekeeping course last year and this is my second year with bees. I've been remiss in signing up for the local beekeeper's association, but will get to that right away. Hope to run into you sometime. Thanks again for the advice.

    Nick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Just to update . . . I used bent screen in the slot where the bees take the sugar water and its works like a charm. They seem to be able to climb out fo the syrup easily if they are pushed in. Now I'm going make the same modification to the second Miller feeder I built so I can use it on my established hive. Thanks again, guys.

    ------------------
    Nick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I redid my miller feeders after drowning too many bees. In one set i added a 45% slope downward from the bee side and covered it with screen wire. on the rest I simply lined the feeding slot with the screen wire. One will be better and I'll let you know. Thanks to the gentleman that first brought up the idea of using screen.

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