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One of the problems that overwhelm beekeepers is the formation of moldy syrup on the bee feeder receptacle. There are many ways to prevent the mold from growing. You may, of course, use commercial antifungal emulsions. But there are simple, safe, and eco-friendly techniques to control the mold.

This relatively minor nuisance affects both commercial beekeeping businesses and small-scale organic bee-farming operations. The mold itself does not harm the bees. But you wouldn’t want the same bees to derive sustenance from mold-infested syrup and produce your honey at the same time.

The syrup is composed primarily of dissolved sugar. It is an easy target for mold. In addition, the environment inside the bee hive encourages the growth of mold. It only takes a few days for the fluffy wisps of whitish growth to appear on the bee feeder. If the mold is present only in a small area, then that is not a cause for concern. But if the mold has spread, then here are two eco-friendly ways to deal with the mold infestation.

One, get a baggie feeder. If you have one, the bees are then forced to drink only from the small slits on the outside of the bag. The slits reduce the surface area of the sugar syrup that is exposed to air.

Two, concoct easy-to-make homemade emulsions. Here are three homemade recipes for your bee-feeder antifungal emulsion. Choose from any of these natural remedies: a fifty-fifty mix of lemongrass oil and spearmint oil, basic lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. Never use cream of tartar as your antifungal solution because it causes bee dysentery. The trick is to turn the sugar syrup slightly acidic.

So, ditch that can of antifungal chemical emulsion and pick up any of these pantry staples. Take care of the environment while you take care of your bees.

By K. Ong

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