are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Pitt, NC, USA
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    859

    Question are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    I've noticed in just the last few days that the reducer I've used all year (set to its thinnest opening) now has an open slit (of sorts) on its top, and the bees come and go via that, as well as via the standard little opening. Are the bees doing this?! Are they saying the little opening is too small (the hive is a deep and 2 mediums) for their population? Since bees only have a proboscis (to my knowledge), how's it possible for them to "chew" (if they're really the culprits)?

    Thx for any feedback or insights on this .....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    The bees will chew with their mandibles to enlarge openings that are too small to suit their preferences.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Yes, mine will chew the wood entrance reducer and the edges of boxes or shims above it. They regularly thin out the shim around the top entrance, which is why I keep using a shim, since replacing one of those is cheaper than replacing a box.

    Nancy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Massac County, Illinois
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    174

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Mice, looking for a nice place to winter.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
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    4,141

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    I have several hives that chew around the entrance like they want to make it larger. The chewing is smoother, from the inside so I know its the bees and not mice.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    Mice, looking for a nice place to winter.
    +1

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Mice (generally) chew from the outside in, bees remove material from the inside out. My bees generally do this in the summer, when mice are otherwise occupied.

    Nancy

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
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    859

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Howdy, all. I'm thinking -- based on what I'm reading here and on circumstances -- that my bees're the culprits. The chewed-away area is a really thin linear slit, not a (even slightly) rounded hole-of-sorts that a mouse could use to squeeze into. Not to say it's impossible, but ..... the bees seem to be using the slit a lot, so I'm guessing it's their handiwork. By God, they know what they want.

    Thx for the input!

    Mitch

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Panama City, FL
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    I have one hive that has two deeps and a med. on top. They chewed a new entrance between the two deeps all the way across the front. I put duct tape over it last week to prepare for the cold front.
    There may have been some small gap there before they opened it up. I wonder if they have anything in the bottom deep at all right now. I'll fix it in the spring or if it turns hot again in December.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
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    699

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    I have been having trouble with skunks lately.
    They will claw at the entrance and eat the bees as they come out of the hole...
    I was using 3/4 inch pieces of Styrofoam for entrance reducers, and was finding them laying on the ground around the hives and I didn't know why until we started getting snow...
    And there was the proof --skunk tracks--I have since replaced the Styrofoam reducers with wooden ones and secured them in place with a screw...
    I have also set out a live trap baited with a can of cat food and will check it maybe tomarrow...
    If you see scratch marks on the landing board or on the front of the hive, is also a sure sign of skunks.
    Just my 2 cents.

    ==McBee7==

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Pitt, NC, USA
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    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    Quote Originally Posted by McBee7 View Post
    I have been having trouble with skunks lately.
    They will claw at the entrance and eat the bees as they come out of the hole...
    I was using 3/4 inch pieces of Styrofoam for entrance reducers, and was finding them laying on the ground around the hives and I didn't know why until we started getting snow...
    And there was the proof --skunk tracks--I have since replaced the Styrofoam reducers with wooden ones and secured them in place with a screw...
    I have also set out a live trap baited with a can of cat food and will check it maybe tomarrow...
    If you see scratch marks on the landing board or on the front of the hive, is also a sure sign of skunks.
    Just my 2 cents.

    ==McBee7==
    Interesting idea, McB; no scratch marks on the hive, though, and -- for what it's worth -- I've never seen a skunk in my n'hood. Raccoons, 'possums, foxes yeah. No skunks, though......

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default Re: are bees "chewing" off some of the entrance reducer cleat?!

    yes bees will chew chru wood very slowly. You can here it, see it.

    Typically its a sign that the entrance is too small. I don't put on entrance reducers until we are routinely near freezing at nights. Mid decemember here. In spring I will begin to hear chewing in late february and early march. Thats when i remove reducers.

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