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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    It's been a busy fall and I didn't get the mouse guards on. Very important out here, lots of mice.
    The bees are clustered and haven't flown in probably a few weeks so I do hesitate disturbing them.

    It's cold enough that if I pop the hives open, manipulate enough to know there aren't mice, then re-close- bees are going to fly out and not be able to get back in before they cool and fall to the ground.

    Any tips?

    Also- the propolis between boxes will be cracked leaving little air spaces the bees worked hard to close up. My boxes are old so this is significant in my opinion. As we get some very windy conditions is it worth duct taping (or another tape?) the seams between supers?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Could you just tip them back and crack loose only the bottom board to check for mice? If they not seen from the bottom they are probably not in the hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    I could try, but I've found they like to hide instead of bolt unlike what I've read elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Well then I'm fresh out of ideas. But what I suggested is about all I would do unless some with alot more experiance than me (almost anyone lol) chime in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    I dont know if ratpoison woud hurt the bees - but if not then you could stick it into the hive through the entrance and then put the mouse guard on ! Just a thought - never done it myself!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,458

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Since mice are nocturnal (for the most part), I would install them at night when the mice have left the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,793

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Put a couple of traps baited with peanut butter in front of the hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    I would think there would be evidence at the bottom entrance if mice had taken up residence in your hive...bits of comb, nesting material.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waterville, NY
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    I would hesitate putting peanut butter in front of the hive for risk of attracting every mouse in the county to it. If you are using Lang's, take a careful look into the hive through the entrance opening. Look for evidence of a grass nest indicating the presence of a mouse. Also, if you have a solid bottom board, look for mouse "raisins" on it. Lastly, insert a wooden dowel into the entrance using a sweeping motion to clean out anything mouse related. Once satisfied you have no mice, install your mouse guard and hope you did everything you can to get them through the winter.
    Last edited by beemilk; 11-06-2012 at 06:52 AM. Reason: mis-spelling

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    please dont separate the boxes at this late date you will break the seal and the cluster will lose more heat than normal.
    look on the bottom board for evidence as suggested.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Great ideas thanks, will carefully check for evidence before disturbing!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,863

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almondralf View Post
    I dont know if ratpoison woud hurt the bees - but if not then you could stick it into the hive through the entrance and then put the mouse guard on ! Just a thought - never done it myself!
    What do bees often do with powdery substances that might have a sweet flavor? Put it in the comb as if it were pollen, perhaps? Does pollen often wind up in honey over the course of a season?

    Put rat poison in hives. I think now I've heard everything.

    Wayne

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: Winter manipulations, a couple questions?

    As others have said, don't disturb them too much at this point, all I would do is look with a flashlight into the entrance and see if there is any nesting material visible, if not you should be fine I would think. John

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