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I am planning to open feed several of my bee yards in September using barrels similar to University of Guelph. I am thinking about using perlite on top of the syrup instead of straw. My hope is to see less drowning. But maybe I will see more, any ideas or suggestions
 

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I have no experience with perlite and bees. But I do use perlite for mixing lightweight concrete mixes all the time. Yes it does float but will get saturated and sink. Maybe not all of it. But some will. And the dust that comes off of it while it’s in the bag might not be good for the bees.
Could react different with sugar syrup not sure.
I wouldn’t risk it.
Other will probley chime in. But seeing the powder that comes off perlite I personally would not use it.
Grass or wood blocks floating in the syrup would just be easier and safer in my opinion.
 

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I am planning to open feed several of my bee yards in September using barrels similar to University of Guelph. I am thinking about using perlite on top of the syrup instead of straw. My hope is to see less drowning. But maybe I will see more, any ideas or suggestions
If you place perlite granules on top of water - initially they will float - but as soon as they absorb water, they'll sink (same with ordinary expanded polystyrene, believe it or not - it just takes a LOT longer). I suspect the same thing will happen with sugar syrup. It could be made to work, but only if you keep this in mind - I'm currently using perlite in a water drinker, and try to keep the water level just below the level of the saturated perlite. Works fine - with no drowning. Ideally it would be good to regulate the water level automatically - a float valve or similar.

As an alternative - have you considered using cork granules ? Easy to make by scrunching-up a few cork tiles.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Brandon O and Little John, Weather for light would sink or float long term was one of my questions.
I like the idea of the cork, I have noticed with open feeding and straw, the straw seems to cause a problem in that everything gets coated in sugar water including the bees. It seems like it happens from crawling down into the straw and then back out again but I'm not really sure any further pointers and discussion would be welcomed.
 
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