The bees clustered at the base of the remaining wick (above photo) are trying to get to the essential oil syrup in the PVC Deal™ reservoir below. The bees chewed up the wick within 24 hours, trying to get to the Lemon grass/Spearmint treated syrup. The bees consume the syrup faster than capillary action can replace it. The bees, in a frenzy, tear the wick to shreds trying to get to the syrup which is not replenished fast enough. If the bees were tearing the wick apart to remove it from the hive, there would be no wick particles on the bottom board, which are clearly present in the above photo. Also, at the top of the wick you can see a small piece of wick that apparently did not have any syrup in it, so the bees left it alone. We need to find a Wicking Material the bees can't chew up, such as nylon or plastic, to truly see the full potential of this new system. If anyone knows of a material that would meet this need, we would greatly appreciate hearing about it.
The bees clustered at the bottom left are consuming a piece of wintergreen grease patty that fell from the top bars.
The wick above was presoaked with syrup and placed in the PVC Deal™ reservoir below. Within a few minutes, the wick was covered with bees.
In contrast, the bees will walk on oil- or acid-saturated wicks but will not chew them up. Later in the season (mid-September, October) the bees will propolize the oil and acid wicks.