Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a week of below zero actual Temps and howling winds, the weather broke and was able to do my first winter inspection. It's a balmy 57 degrees here in western NY in February .

I was expecting my hives to be blown over, but both were still standing . And bees flying everywhere from one,..but the other showed no signs of life.

After cracking it open the smell of urine and wet bedding hit me. Not a single bee was left. I sealed the entrance ( so I thought) from mice. This is my first year beekeeping, and lesson ed learned.

Question...can I let my other hive clean off the frames in spring before I disinfect them, or is that not recommended due to any contamination from the mice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
859 Posts
I wouldnt , unkown what disease the mice brought that killed off the bees...do you have any amount of dead bees in the hive? if so send them out to usda in beltsville for a free inspection on what really killed them..
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,628 Posts
if the hive were healthy the mouse would have been wrapped in propolis. you might send some bees off for testing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was a family of mice,..at least 4,...all alive when I opened it up. Most if the honeycomb was gone. Just a small amount of fondent left. This was the stronger of me 2 hives. Rookie mistake not sealing entrance better.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,628 Posts
I am sorry for the loss of your hive. Those mice must have snuck in when the bees were in cluster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I realize that this is a very old topic from 2019 but my bees don't get bothered by mice. The mice around here were way to busy eating the wires on my horse trailer and pick-up truck.
However, I took my wood entrance reducer and stapled a strip of 1/2 inch hardware cloth in front of the entrance, hoping to keep the mice out. I am thinking this size will allow the bees to carry out the dead bees and still keep the mice out. Cross fingers!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gypsi

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
It has been said more that once that the bees will not touch gear with mouse pee.
OP You may have to discard that gear.
Bleach and pressure wash may make them useable, put them out in the sun to air out for a spell before trying to re-use.

1/2" hardware cloth should stop the mice, to be sure use #8 screen and a 3/8" tall entrance.
The mice may be small enough to squeeze through 1/2" screen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Usually, mice have already found a home before the weather turns really cold for them but here in Ohio our weather has been anything but brutal cold so just maybe mice are finding some exercise time and could easily relocate. Worried about my wood entrance reducer with my 1/2" hardware cloth stapled to the entrance,I pulled it yesterday and replaced it with a commercially made metal mouse guard with 3/8 inch round holes. It is easy to just slide it up and scrape out any dead bees from time to time.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,628 Posts
I got some sheet metal mouseguards from Dadant once, but I have only used them once, because having recruited a very efficient feral cat 4 or 5 years ago, I haven't needed them. Didn't need before then, my hives sit high on a pipestand, but seemed like a good idea when I ordered
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wil

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Lucky stiff ! All my cats are to lazy to hunt down mice. Reminds me of a very true episode that happened to me about 1995. When I walked into the main part of the horse barn to feed, I seen about 10 feral cats that have been hanging around the place. Funny how people just seem to know where to drop of their unwanted cats. Anyhow, the cats were all laying around in one big circle, staying warm when a mouse ran right through their circle. Lol, not one cat went after that mouse. They just watched.
One of my neighbors who is a beekeeper is against mouse guards of any type. His only argument is that the bees can't remove the dead bees in the hive when they need to clean them out, so the dead bees just build up to where they close of the entrance. I am surrounded by fields and woods and I have been victim to what deer mice can destroy. It cost me one 1993 Ford pick-up, Horse trailer wiring, and three ATV's wiring and just recently, my Dodge Ram's wiring.
Somebody told me to set out Irish Spring soap under the hoods and anywhere I didn't want mice. I thought that worked for a while until I found where the darn things ate the soap. I now have laundry dryer sheets stuck in the battery compartments and air cleaners of the ATV's. The mice loved to go after the wiring in the fuse compartments. The dryer sheets seem to help.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,628 Posts
I feed once a day in the morning so the Tortie hopefully doesn't hunt birds. What I have found to deter rats is peppermint oil. I can hear them in the wall behind my bathroom sink if they come in thru a under siding hole in my back wall. I put in a couple drops of peppermint oil where there is a little gap next to a pipe and the rats leave. I try to have my dogs outside when this occurs, I can usually end up with 2 dead rats in about 5 minutes. Doesn't last terribly long. Other good rat deterrent is a spray from Home Depot called Critter Ridder. Don't use either of these in the beehive, obviously
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wil

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I feed once a day in the morning so the Tortie hopefully doesn't hunt birds. What I have found to deter rats is peppermint oil. I can hear them in the wall behind my bathroom sink if they come in thru a under siding hole in my back wall. I put in a couple drops of peppermint oil where there is a little gap next to a pipe and the rats leave. I try to have my dogs outside when this occurs, I can usually end up with 2 dead rats in about 5 minutes. Doesn't last terribly long. Other good rat deterrent is a spray from Home Depot called Critter Ridder. Don't use either of these in the beehive, obviously
Peppermint oil? I am going to have to remember that.
Coincidence, just yesterday I seen my cat in the bathroom with her nose right up against a wall by the shower. Then I heard scratching behind the wall.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,628 Posts
You can order peppermint essential oil on Amazon but even walmart might have it
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wil

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
You can order peppermint essential oil on Amazon but even walmart might have it
Good deal. I'll look some up. Thank you.
" War on mice" !
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gypsi
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top