Mice in a Hive

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.

3 thoughts on “Mice in a Hive

  1. This year I did keep the mouse mesh on all summer. It didn’t bother the bees and I know I don’t have a mouse in there. After losing mine last year from mice it cost a lot to replace them

    • Yup, that’s my thinking too. Except for maybe cleaning the bottom boards after winter, unless I’m moving a hive to a new location, I see not reason why I can’t keep the mesh on all year. It doesn’t knock the pollen off the bees’ legs. It doesn’t block ventilation. It does nothing to get in the way at all, as far as I see.

  2. Sorry to hear this. Some beekeepers do say that the mouse guard can knock pollen off the bees legs and also slow the foragers returning during a nectar flow. But considering how much damage a mouse can wreak these are fairly small cons.

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