Re: mass of dead bees in feeder's shallow "moat"; any ideas re: why?!
I would not overthink and use any dry plant residue as scaffolding for the bees; it does not really matter.
Originally Posted by mlanden
I use dry sticks laying under the hedge (left there after pruning).
Speaking of "clean" - bees get into places getting their water - you don't want to know about.
I would use pine straw if available just fine. But make it a thick layer.
Prefer thicker material so that individual pieces can support bees (individual pine straws can not reliably support bees - too heavy).
Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.