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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been having some issues with the hive top feeder, which I discussed in a previous thread. I hived two packages around April 28th and a couple of days ago added a second medium box as both hives were close to 80% drawn out. I continued using the feeders, but when I checked today I just didn't have a good vibe. It seemed like there were more drowned bees than bees that were actually feeding. Furthermore, there is mold developing on the walls of the feeder, as well as on the inner cover. I live really close to the ocean, so there is a lot of moisture in the air and it has been cool and overcast. Daytime temperatures are 50's and low 60's. It doesn't seem like the bees are really wanting the syrup, but they still have a lot of comb to draw with the addition of a second box. I feel like using the hive top feeder is adding way to much moisture to the hive, and can't believe I'm already getting mold in less than 3 weeks! So I just removed the feeders. I do use a SBB and the bees are bringing in pollen every day. Do I really need to feed? If so, can I just pour some dry sugar on top of the inner cover? I would rather not feed at all but I keep reading that I should if they are still drawing out comb. Being in California I don't have to worry about severe winters so I wonder if the need is as great here. I would appreciate any advice I can get! Oh, and on top of all of this, I noticed today that there were some straight lined shaped poop around the hive. Not a lot, but not typical and enough to make me think they have a little dysentery. Ugh! What to do?
 

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Ya, sugar syrup can cause dysentery especially in cool moist environment. I think taking the syrup feeders off is a great idea, and putting the sugar over the inner cover won't hurt, but probably is not needed this time of year where you are.
 

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I see no reason to be feeding any bees anywhere in the US unless you have some reason to believe there is a dearth... and I know of no reason for a dearth this time of year. Certainly not in CA.

The problem with feeding any significant amount of sugar is that IF they eat it it will leave space that they will try to fill with comb. And they probably won't eat it if there is nectar coming in. They will haul it out for trash.
 

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Well...there are a few of my locations where the forage is slack, and when I have a 3 frame nuc, it just makes sense to feed. They need to build up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your comments. I am not going to feed them anymore. And I feel so much better now! When I checked on them today they were very busy flying in and out of the hive and don't seem to have any more dysentery. They are just fine. One thing I have been wondering though is how living by the ocean can affect foraging. Will the bees fly longer distances since they can't go a full 3 mile radius around their hives? I'm literally a block and a half from the ocean.
 
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