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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    I have four hives that I thought were packed with honey, but the bees in all the hives have been clustering over the top bars at least for the past few weeks, so I decided to play it safe and feed them. I used the dry sugar method over newspaper today and it went well as far as I can tell. (Sure beats cooking up hard candy for them.)

    While I was doing this, I noticed the bottom entrance of one hive was sticky with honey. (I tasted it. It could have been a mixture of honey and sugar syrup.) This is only my second winter of beekeeping, so it's the first time I've seen this.

    What does a bottom board sticky with honey in the middle of the winter mean? Could it be a mouse stuck inside the hive chewing open the honey comb? Is it something I should be concerned about?
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,274

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    Obviously you are concerned and yes, it could be a mouse. You could tilt the hive back on its bottom board and see what you find on the bottom board. What you describe should not be happening.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    Are you providing ventilation in the upper part of the hive?

    "It could have been a mixture of honey and sugar syrup.)"

    How late in the fall did you feed the syrup? Do you think you reduced the entrance, or provided a mouse guard early enough?

    Since you've already "tasted it",...let's hope it is not a mouse.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    I added half-inch mesh like this around the first week of November (which may have been a bit late):

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

    I used a flash light to check for mice beforehand and didn't see anything.

    For ventilation I'm using an insulated inner hive cover:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

    Which is more or less a piece of hard insulation over the inner cover. The hives are also wrapped. I didn't notice any moisture in the hive while I had the tops off to feed them and I didn't have any ventilation issues with my hives last year using the same set up.

    This particular hive was fed heavy syrup all year, starting from a small nuc in mid-July. I stopped feeding syrup around the first week of October and then switched to honey until about the last week of October when they wouldn't take any more.
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,260

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    A mouse is about the only thing you should try to deal with. Anything else could cause more harm than good. Happy New Year!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,905

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    (wrong thread, sorry)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Honey Leaking From Hive in Winter

    Thank you for the photos. Your method for providing ventilation and protecting against mice are good.

    It may have been a little late in Newfoundland to feed the syrup and honey. I would think it gets colder there, earlier in the fall than down here.

    Maybe you will have a better idea of what's causing [or caused] the leaking in the spring. Let us know what you find. Hopefully it is nothing too serious.

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