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dead bees in rapid feeder

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kathrynat 

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Hi All,
Please be gentle with me, this is my first thread. I have done a search and couldn't find anything on the subject.
I fed my bees about 5 days ago with a 2:1 sugar water mixture in a round rapid feeder on top of the crown board. I gave them 1 litre. I checked them just now and all the syrup has gone and the feeder has a lot of dead bees in it. I would estimate about a hundred bees. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

I use energy saving bulbs and don't like them one bit.

thank you
 

susbees 

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Not sure I understand where the bulbs come in?

Are there also dead bees on the floor? Head-first into the combs? Given the chance bees are taking down gallons of syrup right now. The weather and sudden stop of flow (unless you have Himalayan balsam or heather say) has been quite striking.

Expect they ran out of syrup. Hard to control in this awful weather. But some is better than none IMHO. We have three litre feeders on the big hives and they've been emptying 1:1 in two daysish (now on 1.5:1). Hopefully the weather will improve shortly!
 

Black Comb 

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Did you ensure the clear "hood" was positioned correctly over the feed hole?
This stops the bees getting into the feed. If they do get in they drown, which is what is likely to have happened here.

There is usually a circular slot in the bottom of the feeder the hood fits into.

Of course they could have got in via the top if it wasn't on correctly and they had access to the roof space.

And no, it's not normal.
 

Polyanwood 

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There are two ways I have ended up with dead bees in a rapid feeder;
one - I didn't put the lid on properly and bees crept in and couldn't find their way out and drowned
two - i didn't put the cup inside the feeder back on properly, so bees crept out into the syrup chamber and couldn't find their way back and died.

Suggest you have made one of errors above. Congratulations on starting your first thread. I'm looking forward to more questions :party:
 

MuswellMetro 

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i assume it is the round type that's an upturned cone with cover over the cone and a lid

was the cone secured in it groves, the only time i have seen them fail and kill bees is if the cone suddendly raises up and the syrup swamps the bees, or is the cone cover missing

hundred think some is wrong, one or two soakeddead bees, normal
 
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wightbees 

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Hi All,
Please be gentle with me, this is my first thread. I have done a search and couldn't find anything on the subject.
I fed my bees about 5 days ago with a 2:1 sugar water mixture in a round rapid feeder on top of the crown board. I gave them 1 litre. I checked them just now and all the syrup has gone and the feeder has a lot of dead bees in it. I would estimate about a hundred bees. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

I use energy saving bulbs and don't like them one bit.

thank you
I think this might have something to do with another post lol
I don't like them much either :)
 

kathrynat 

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I think that the cup thingy was on properly, but to be honest I didn't realise the importance of it. When I feed them again tomorrow I will double check that I position it correctly. Thank you all for your responses and your gentleness.
 

Rosti 

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just adding emphasis to the theory already posted here. Inner inverted cone not positioned / secured correctly is my vote.
 

newportbuzz 

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if you are still worried that this will happen again then put some straw in the feeder this will give the bees something to cling onto to stop drowning. atleast then when you go back in you can take the lid off and still have the hundred or so bees alive ,locked up and (angry)
 

Capella 

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Just back from adding new syrup jars to a very strong hive.
Have been feeding over a litre at a time for the past few weeks using inverted jars in an empty super over the crown board.

This time there were about 70 dead bees on the crown board and mostly located in the corners.
Past week has been warm (20C) with many bees bearding below the front entrance which has been reduced with a mouse guard. I am thinking maybe overheating or is there any other good reason ?

The other adjacent hive is not as strong and didn't have any dead bees in the 'super'.

I will send away some of the dead bees tomorrow for testing but in the meantime any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Poggle 

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I to had some dead bees in a feeder a few days ago. I have two feeders, one is the round one and it is perfectly ok, the other is a two litre rectangular feeder I got with my first kit. It has two compartments? One for the syrup and the other to get to where the bees come in so as to dribble some syrup to get them started? Well, the dead ones were in the syrup area.....I am wondering if they had gotten in but couldn't get out and got cooked by the heat from the sun heating the top of the hive up and the plastic container?
 

Hombre 

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Why fly yourself to death or crawl away into the long grass when you can pig out at the last chance saloon before the lights go out . . . Everything is probably relative.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Just back from adding new syrup jars to a very strong hive.
Have been feeding over a litre at a time for the past few weeks using inverted jars in an empty super over the crown board.

This time there were about 70 dead bees on the crown board and mostly located in the corners.
Past week has been warm (20C) with many bees bearding below the front entrance which has been reduced with a mouse guard. I am thinking maybe overheating or is there any other good reason ?

The other adjacent hive is not as strong and didn't have any dead bees in the 'super'.

I will send away some of the dead bees tomorrow for testing but in the meantime any suggestions would be appreciated.

first question, do you know how the bees got there,

in my arrangement bees never have access to the top of the crown board as all holes are blocked by porters escapes, the feeder or a flat piece of wood

second Welcome
 

Capella 

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The 'super' over the crown board doesn't have any frames in it, only feeding jars that are place on laths above the opening of the crown board, so the bees have free access from the brood chamber up into the feeding area. The jars have peforated lids which allow the bees to remove the syrup.

I have been thinking more since of what might have happened and the following is another suggestion:

About a week ago I went to the hives to remove empty syrup jars and as usual this hive had hundreds of bees all over the (outside) jars. I had forgotton my smoker and so to remove the bees from the jars I shook them off at the entrance and also shook some off into the box and possibly did this too violently causing injury to some of the bees by whacking them off the crown board.
 

Capella 

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first question, do you know how the bees got there,

in my arrangement bees never have access to the top of the crown board as all holes are blocked by porters escapes, the feeder or a flat piece of wood

second Welcome
The 'super' over the crown board doesn't have any frames in it, only feeding jars that are place on laths above the opening of the crown board, so the bees have free access from the brood chamber up into the feeding area. The jars have peforated lids which allow the bees to remove the syrup.

I have been thinking more since of what might have happened and the following is another suggestion:

About a week ago I went to the hives to remove empty syrup jars and as usual this hive had hundreds of bees all over the (outside) jars. I had forgotton my smoker and so to remove the bees from the jars I shook them off at the entrance and also shook some off into the box and possibly did this too violently causing injury to some of the bees by whacking them off the crown board.
 

oliver90owner 

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This time there were about 70 dead bees on the crown board and mostly located in the corners.

I might be inclined to suggest these could have been robbers? The hive roof is not necessarily bee-proof, so should not be used like you are doing. If you then rearranged it such that it became bee-proof, those bees could have been trying to find a way out?

Doubtful, and a long shot, as I would have expected them to eventually mingle with the home-owners, when smells got spread around, but, to reiterate, your roof is not necessarily as bee-proof as you might think and it's primary purpose is to simply provide protection from the weather (ie shed water from the hive).
 

Capella 

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This time there were about 70 dead bees on the crown board and mostly located in the corners.

I might be inclined to suggest these could have been robbers? The hive roof is not necessarily bee-proof, so should not be used like you are doing. If you then rearranged it such that it became bee-proof, those bees could have been trying to find a way out?

Doubtful, and a long shot, as I would have expected them to eventually mingle with the home-owners, when smells got spread around, but, to reiterate, your roof is not necessarily as bee-proof as you might think and it's primary purpose is to simply provide protection from the weather (ie shed water from the hive).
Thanks Oliver, I had thought of robbing as a possibility, but I have been very careful to ensure that the roof is seated properly and is bee-proof every time I put it back on. However you could be right.

Checked the hive again last evening and all seemed ok - they had brought down another 1.25 l of syrup and all appeared to be ok. I have sent a sample of bees away today for disease diagnosis (just in case) so I might get some answers.
 

greatbritishhoney 

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Kathrynat, I use the same type of feeders and have occasionally had the same problem. In my case the bees had emptied the feeder and I think it was a simple case of them not being able to find their way back out (I may be wrong on this).
Ever since I have always ensured that the feeder doesn't run dry and I have had no problems since.
 
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Don't throw those sugared bees away.... dry them off in the bottom oven of the AGA and allow to cool... dust with icing sugar..... delicious!

(not as nutritious as fresh drone larvae though I am told!)

ENJOY !
 

greatbritishhoney 

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Don't throw those sugared bees away.... dry them off in the bottom oven of the AGA and allow to cool... dust with icing sugar..... delicious!

(not as nutritious as fresh drone larvae though I am told!)

ENJOY !
I prefer them on the end of a cocktail stick in my martini:coolgleamA:
 

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