A mouse got inside my city hive because I waited too long to put on mouse-proofing mesh.
From what I can tell, the mouse (or mice) was in the hive for a long time and scared the bees, queen and all, into a honey super that I had placed above the inner cover during a late fall feeding.
|Signs of mice: slivers of wood, mouse droppings, chewed up comb — and lots of it.|
For an entire colony to abandon the brood nest by squeezing through an inner cover hole to cluster inside a honey super — that’s not normal.
|Comb damage from mice.|
I should have put my mouse-proofing mesh on as soon as I knew I wouldn’t need to move the bottom box for the rest of the year. If the bottom box doesn’t need to be moved, why not keep mouse-proofing mesh on all year long?
I’m afraid another one of my hives out in the country may have a mouse in it too. It’s a three-deep hive and the top two deeps have a fair amount of honey. Yet the bees are clustering above the highest top bars — as if they’re doing everything they can to get as far away from a mouse. Maybe they just like the view from up there, but I gotta feeling something not good is going on.
More photos in the Mouse Damage photo album.