Mold in the feeder?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by freestargirl, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. freestargirl

    freestargirl New Member

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    Hi All,


    I'm very new to beekeeping. We just got our hive this June. I haven't had a ton of time to look into this problem, so I'm hoping someone here can help me!
    We have been feeding our bees with a plastic 1 quart poultry feeder, that we had used when we first got our chickens. I cleaned it out throughly, let it dry after we were done using it with the chickens. I washed it again before putting it in the hive. It worked so well, that we got 2 more of the same feeders to use so we always have 2 in the hive, and one to go in when it's time to fill them up again.
    2 weeks ago, one of our feeders had some mold spots on the inside of the plastic inverted jar. I didn't think too much of it- it's been very warm. I washed that one thoroughly and even soaked it in some diluted bleach. That one did end up being the 2nd one to go back into the hive that day.
    Last Sunday, when I went to swap them out, the same feeder had more mold in it! I soaked and soaked in a stronger bleach solution. The other one that came out of the hive that went back in that same day I washed in the bleach solution as well, even though it didn't have any visible mold. We put pieces of gravel in the lip of the tray so the bees don't drown- so I soaked and washed all of the rocks too. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed to make sure that all the bleach odors were removed, because I didn't want any bleach ending up in my honey or killing my bees!
    So today I go to swap them out, and one of them came out with mold spots again! I'll soak it in bleach again before I use it.
    So have any of you heard of this? Do you think it is something on my bees that they're getting into the solution in the feeder when they crawl around on the rocks? We have well water and I haven't been boiling it first or anything, do you think it could be some of the bacteria that's in our water? What I put out there today, I boiled for 10 min. before I mixed the solution.
    What should I do besides what I'm already doing? At first I was worried about the mold making its way into the honey, but moldy honey is unheard of right, which is what makes it so great?
    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My sugar water molds quite often. It doesn't hurt anything. The bees will separate the sugar from the mold. Relax and enjoy your bees. Rinse the jars with hot water and refill.

    Welcome to the forum from another North Carolinian. Hope you like it here.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Welcome freestargirl:

    You have found the right place for finding answers to questions in a timely manner, our friendly forum :mrgreen:
    Perhaps if you left the feeder that was empty after being cleaned out in the bright sunlight for a day or two, it might help. UV is a great sterilizer.
    But like Iddee says, the mold is really no big deal other than appearance (and really, only keeps ever see it) ;)

    Glad you found us and welcome aboard. :thumbsup:
     
  4. rast

    rast New Member

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    Welcome, all my feeders get some mold in them. Just follow the advice above.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    same happens here with the jars I use on my very modified migratory lids (they have a hole in the top that accepts a mason jar lid).

    invariable some mold appears and typically I rinse this out before refilling. some folks add just a bit of lecithin to syrup to give it a bit more mold free shelf like. i don't use the lecithin much unless I know I am going to hold some quantity of syrup for a while before using. like iddee I don't think a small amount of mold much bothers the girls in using the syrup.
     
  6. Steve10

    Steve10 New Member

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    Gee, I don't want to jinx myself, but I don't have mold problems in my jars, baggies, or converted poultry feeder. Granted it's not as warm here in NY. Hmm, I always add lemon juice or Honey B Healthy to my syrup. The acidity is a deterrent. I'm on well water, too. Could you run that feeder through a dishwasher (careful, it might melt)? Mold spores are everywhere and tough to eliminate the source. Could be from the mixing equipment too. Wooden stirring spoons are notorious sources. Scratched plastic is an ideal hiding spot for fungal spores. Sunlight is a good idea.

    I know everyone says the mold is no problem, but with my medical background and OCD, I just can't tolerate it. That's one good reason for the baggie system. The interior isn't sterile, but they're in the trash before they look yucky. For the environmentalists, if you buy the heavy ones, and put 2 parallel slits in it, the "handle" made by these slits can be pulled up to refill the baggie. Haven't tried it personally, so I can't comment on it's practicality.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Add few drops of household bleach in your syrup, and no mould will develop in your feeder.