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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Hi!

    Since most of the flowers are gone around our hives (winter is pretty much here) we've put our hive top feeders on and noticed that both our hives are doing very well with the extra food supply (1:1 sugar/water). However, we're constantly having to pull the feeders off to clean them. Mold seems to be a big problem.

    My theory is that since it does get pretty warm during the day and the hives get a lot of direct sunlight this is a good environment for mold to grow inside the damp feeder.

    The question is, once we get the feeders off and scrub them down with a brush (a clean dish brush that we never use for anything else) Is there a safe way to get the remaining mold out of the polystyrene? Especially in the corners is difficult to get and mold seems to flourish in those spots. We've taken an approach to not using any chemicals around our bees and want to know what an all natural cleaner would be to maybe soak the feeders. We definitely don't want to harm them in anyway so detergents or chemicals are things we'd like to avoid.

    Thanks a bunch for any advice!

    -Aaron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Put them in the bath tub with hot water and scrub away!! Thats all I did when I was using a hive top feeder. But I dont use them anymore, I prefer buckets now, easy to put in, easy to take out and clean and I can easily stack three or four and carry them to the yard...........and I have never had mold issues or towering burr comb up through the feeder like I did with the one I used!!

    The only draw back is I have to open the hives to place the buckets in...............but its not really a draw back, I like putting a little syrup on my finger and feed the bee's by hand just for pure entertainment value!!

    Oh, and the biggest bonus with buckets.............no drowned bee's at all!!

    As for the 1:1 sugar syrup, this time of year I would feed the 2:1 or 5:3. Its easier for the bee's to process and evaporate this time of year when its cooler out. 1:1 is for springtime build up to get them drawing comb. I was feeding 5:3 on my nucs and had no problems and they have plenty of capped sugar syrup.

    Goodluck with the bees!!................Jason
    Coyote Creek Bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Where you guys live you are just promoting early swarming and fouling of your harvest able crop by feeding anything but desperate hives.

    Read what you are saying on another post:
    "Took a walk around the euc stand this morning and watched bee's working the blooms, every bloom had a bee on it!!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Hey Frank,

    I havnt fed for over a month, they werent drawing down much from the buckets so I pulled them and figured they had enough stored. I was just suggesting to 409 what I do when I need to feed!!

    Im a newbie, but I know enough that if the supers are on, the feeding stops, I dont want any Chinese honey!!LOL
    Coyote Creek Bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,092

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    A little clorox bleach in the syrup will help w/ the mold.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    A little clorox bleach in the syrup will help w/ the mold.
    sounds like a great idea.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Once clean, we spray the entire inside with a chlorine-water mixture with a spray bottle. We also add 1 Tbsp of vinegar per quart which is what my wife adds to tomatoes when she cans. Thinking is it makes it more acidic and retards mold growth. Also added screened 1/2 inch holes at top of both sugar water "tanks" to get some ventilation to retard mildew growth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Once clean, we spray the entire inside with a chlorine-water mixture with a spray bottle. We also add 1 Tbsp of vinegar per quart which is what my wife adds to tomatoes when she cans. Thinking is it makes it more acidic and retards mold growth. Also added screened 1/2 inch holes at top of both sugar water "tanks" to get some ventilation to retard mildew growth.
    The vinegar idea sounds excellent. I had not though about allowing the tanks to breathe, this is something we will be doing for sure.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Correction, we use 1 Tbsp of lemon juice per quart of syrup. Bees seem to like the taste. Have not tried vinegar but it may work equally well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,092

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    That's supposed to be a good nosema treatment too, isn't it? What is going on is the changing of the pH, I believe.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cashmere, WA, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: All natural way to clean mold out of hive top feeders?

    Vinegar, H2O2, "One Step" sanitizer ... Maybe not a great idea for styrene, but exposing the plastic/wood feeders to intense UV is a good disinfecting regime. It also requires less elbow grease.

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