I just made several Miller feeder from the plans on this (Beesource) site. When i used them, I found many dead bees in the 1-1 syrup. This can't be normal. Where did I go wrong? Is there some alteration that will prevent this?
Cut some screen wire so that it is just as wide as the feeder and twice as deep. Fold it in half. Now slide the screen wire, point down,(v) into the space the bees are climbing into to get to the feed.
The wire will give the bees something to hold on to. Even if a bee falls in she will be able to grab back on to the screen wire and climb out.
Thanks a lot for the reply. I woke up this morning thinking about how to cut little steps for them, use a tin wall with little holes in it, cut a 45% angle on the piece making a ramp for them, etc. How long should it take for a nuc to empty one of these feeders? I've ordered a few of the type that replace a frame. I've read that they have the same problem. Same solution?
The type that replace a frame have little horizontal plastic lines along the sides so the bees should be able to climb out, plus a good idea would be to float a frame bottom bar or stick that will fit in nicely on the syrup. It leaves less of a space for the bees to fall in, and something to climb onto if they do.
I use both types of feeders and have found that popsicle sticks work great in both types of feeders and when waterloged you can dry them or replace them as needed.
just South of Lansing Michigan
I used the division feeders in two hives this past year and in one hive a lot of the bees drown and I had to take it out, but in the other one there was no problems. I am building miller feeders this winter for my hives. I am going to put 1/8 hardware cloth over the top except where the bees get in to feed. I am going to use the V shape hardware cloth for that area. On the one hive that I left the division feeder in I had to fill it at least twice a week.
[This message has been edited by Bigearl (edited December 26, 2002).]