A very basic question probably here, but we have Maisemore feeders for our hives which are great but we find the bees put brace comb up underneath the funnels and we’re wondering if anyone has a great idea on how to remove it. We normally use the hive tool and boiling water but wonder if there is a better way of removing it. On a second note we’re feeding them thick syrup that we make ourselves but in one hive it has solidified and the bees can’t access it, so the clear, plastic domes get stuck by the solidified sugar. Anyone know how to get round this. Thanks for any help.
Presumably your feeder sits immediately over one of the holes in the crown-board sitting above the brood box – or is it above a super? Unusual for bees to block a feeder entrance / funnel with brace comb. Sounds as if they have run out of space in the hive or don’t like the hole in their roof – too much ventilation?
Cutting out the brace comb with a sharp knife and melting off the wax residue with hot water sounds good. I would worry that boiling water would damage the plastic. Any remaining propolis can removed with a soda crystal solution / kitchen scourer.
Bees will take down several pints of 2:1 sugar syrup in a day if they really need it. Any left after a couple of days will naturally start to crystalise – especially if the sugar in the original mix was not totally dissolved and subsequently seeds the solution.
It’s getting a bit late to feed syrup now the temperature has dropped. If the bees need food (sounds like it’s likely they don’t) then fondant on the top of the brood box is probably the way.
Whilst Ambrosia syrup is more expensive than sugar solution, it does not crystallise and any surplus can be emptied back in to a bucket for next year. It is also easier for the bees to digest. Same point on Ambrosia fondant, more expensive but easy to use for us and the bees and does not go hard. Like everything in life you pay your money and take your choice!