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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default first winter question about mice

    hello so I am in my first year beekeeping. started with 5 hives going into winter. got into the 40s today so I was checking on my hives and found that my 1 two story nuc was dead from moisture (due to my faulty installation of quilt box). Also 1 of my 4 full size hives was also dead. Due to my stupidity and inexperience I didn't get mouse guards on the hive entrances before my entrance reducers got frozen on and I didn't think it was a big deal. well a mouse had taken residence in my fullsize hive and had made a mess of things and definitely contributed to it dying out but when checking the dead bees 30% had mites visible on them. they were definitely struggling from that as well even though I had treated them with maqs.
    Now my questions are how much damage can mice do to the remaining hives? Will they usually kill hives that they infest or just make a mess of things? What are my options for my 3 remaining hives? should I simply put on mice guards but what if they already have mice in them? Has anyone ever used mice poison in their hives? if so do you know if it will hurt the bees? Could really use some advice i'm going to be worrying about my 3 remaining hives all winter cause of this mouse getting into my other hive. Also trust me never again will my hives go into winter without mouse guards on all entrances!!! thank you ahead of time for any help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    751

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    You already know/seen what damage a mouse can do. Personally, I'd bang on the hive to give the mouse a chance to exit and then put your mouse guards on.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    Has anyone ever used mice poison in their hives? if so do you know if it will hurt the bees? Could really use some advice i'm going to be worrying about my 3 remaining hives all winter cause of this mouse getting into my other hive.
    Option of using mice poison in the hive would be out for me, and I wouldn't even consider using it on the outside. The last thing you want is a poisoned mouse to die in the hive or have traces of poison in there. If it has gotten into one it will be getting into the others, and probably will be bringing the family or neighbors. I would get guards on ASAP, you can also use a flashlight to see if there is housing materials and/or another mouse in the bottom of the hive.
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    Ok that's kinda what I thought about the mice poison. I'll get the nice guards on but first I'll pull the entrance reducers off and see if I can see any mice activity. Wish I had an OA wand to smoke them out with. Looking at the mites on the dead ones my mite treatments didn't have the needed affects.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    468

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    I wonder if just smoking heavily would drive a mouse out. I would give it a try if you can't borrow or buy a OA wand. I would loan you mine, but you are too far away. Check with your local association.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    Thank you very much for your offer fivej. I used a flashlight and a a stick to clean off the bottom boards of the 2 hives I have left alive. No mice and put some hardware clothe on so should be good. Left entrances reducers off and they have top entrances and quilt boxes as well. Anyways hopefully my last 2 make it through.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Clarkfield, Minnesota
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: first winter question about mice

    THis winter, I had mice coming and going out of 4 different hives. UGG. I had mouse guards on early down low but they apparently were getting in through my upper entrances, in shims just below my quilt boxes. so be sure your upper entrances are smaller than a mouse or use hardware cloth there too.

    I check my varroa trays weekly and currently only seeing droppings in one hive. It is is a big, strong hive. I figure mice have coexisted with bees and lived in beehives for years so I plan to just wait for spring. Though I may try the open the gate and bang to see if they run out method...

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