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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
    27,200

    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 #youmatter

  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
    4,001

    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
    4,576

    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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