>This morning, I had never even heard of a non-Shakespearean shrew, and now it is my moral enemy. Any advice on how to keep the out of your hives?
Wow! Let's give credit where credit is due. MP pinned the tail on the donkey. Give that man a free teddy bear of his choice.
Yes. Thank you so much Micheal Palmer for the tip, and for all your educational efforts. You are a huge help to the beekeeping community.
So after seeing the damage in my remaining two hives, I decided to throw a "hail Mary" pass to keep my remaining bees alive, because it didn't look like they could make it another night below freezing. I put the remaining bees in a single deep body with a center divider, (which I had made for queen rearing purposes last year, thanks again to MP), and put a seed starting mat underneath to give a little extra warmth, and put foam insulation boards around the box. They each have an extra frame of pollen/honey, and hopefully, they can cluster together in the middle to keep themselves warm enough until the weather turns. We will see.
They may not live, but had I not gotten some good advice from this forum, I would not have thought to look in the other hives, and they would surely had died within a few days.
You answered your question...While I doubt the culpret were shrews, most definates something in the rodent family. If the dead bees are plentiful they will jusrt snarf on the heads and leave the rest...
Seriously? Man... I've had it with this dump!
Take a sample and send to the Bee Lab in MD......
Just getting over below freezing temperatures at night so I decided to check my hive for dead bees. After scraping them out I also had bees with body parts missing. Heads and bodies separated. Have had mouse excluders on since September and this is the first I've seen of this. If it is a shrew or small mouse got in how do I get it out of the hive before my entire hive is demolished and my bees are dead? Any other possible motives? Not a lot of bees in this state but could be just the beginning.