Beekeeping Hive Maintainance

A Mouse in the Beehive

Earlier this fall I learned that one of my weaker beehives had succumb to wax moths.

It was awful and disgusting. So I removed some of the salvageable frames that I could and cleaned them up as best I could. I placed them into the deeps and put them off to the side- outside near the garden shed. I wanted them to air out, freeze any remaining larvae, and give them time before I placed them in the shed.

Unfortunately, I didn’t move those frames into the garden shed as timely as I would have liked and when I went to move the frames into the shed, I discovered that a wee little field mouse had taken up residence between the frames and the other wall of the deep.

mouse in beehive

2TillysNest-mouseinbeehive2

Mice like to take up residence into beehives. Why not? The hives are warm, safe and have delicious food! Sometimes, when the bees are in their cluster they do not notice the mouse in their house. Mice can sometimes co-exist with bees for quite some time. Other times, mice are not so lucky. Once discovered, the bees can sting them to death, encapsulate the body with propolis (bee glue) and wall it off. This is why beekeepers are encouraged to use mouse guards on all their active and living hive.

3TillysNest-mouseinbeehive1

The mouse guard can be made from something as simple as hardware cloth. Simply cut to length and bent in half, tuck it into the bottom board all across the entire entrance. I put them in all my hives once they are established and keep them in year round. It is a cheap solution to keep mice from the hives.

As for this little fellow. I shooed him off on his way and I tucked his intact nest into a small niche under the garden shed.

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