Would you remove the bottom tray

Q: I live in Nashville, just two hours away from you, and I know you are experiencing the same extremely hot, dry weather. I have a two-part question.

First, I have screen bottom boards with west traps. Would you remove the bottom tray to allow for more ventilation? And second, because most of the flowers are dead or dying because of the heat and no rain, would you feed them? Looks like their nectar sources are scarce right now. I’m using gallon baggie feeders with 1:1 sugar water and would like to know if you approve or not. The girls attack it with a vengeance and it’s empty in a little more than a day.

Love your products and newsletter. I missed your field day this year but several members from my club told me how great it was, so I will plan to attend next year. Thanks a bunch.

A: Beekeeper and Kelley employee fielded this question for us:

Yes, remove the traps but also assure they don’t have more room than they need. If you pulled honey and put supers on you may want to work on getting them back to two boxes so they can adequately protect their home from hive beetles and wax moth.

Both fresh water and feed are important when nectar and pollen sources are unavailable—I like to do a community feed about sixty feet away so it doesn’t attract hive beetles to the hive. You can also offer some pollen patties so the queen will continue laying, keeping the hive strong. These should also be fed about sixty feet from any hives, as they are a beetle attractant.

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