Hive-top box feeder warning
Wasn't sure to post this here or in the diseases and pests forum, but I have box hive-top feeder (molded plastic insert) with screen running down the middle. I was having a lot of drowned bees (10 - 30 per every other day feeding) and realized that on some areas of where the bee access screen met the plastic tray, there were gaps large enough for bees to pass.
I pulled the feeder and used my trusty hot wax/glue gun and closed those areas off, being careful not to create a dam. There is no way for bees now to get into the feeder now except thru the screen since I have the top window-screened off. today there was only 1 bee in the feeder.
This is of course an issue that needs to be addressed by those of you using similar equipment with similar problems.
The other (main) issue was that once I pulled the feeder off and was able to shake the bees off, hive beetles were running amok out of all those small hidey places (a hundred...) around the plastic feeder insert. With the feeder off, I should have addressed that problem by somehow blocking/filling all areas around the bottom of the plastic tray except the access bar with something.
SHB are like mesquitoes - where there is one, there are ??? many more. This weekend, after the girls have settled down, I'm pulling the feeder and making sure that only the bee access area is open and also installing my beetle traps (AJ's & modified bottom West).
They are sucking down a gallon a day, so altho I hate that top box feeder, it makes sense right now.
Point being - if you are experiencing bee drownings with this type feeder via the screen (not necessarily from above), check for gaps and eliminate. At the same time, screen/block all access to the bottom of the feeder except where it was designed for bee access to prevent SHB from hiding.
SHB has not ravaged my hive yet, but they have the numbers to do so, and I hope to eliminate a very large area where they are hiding.
EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."