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Recently found one of our hives empty .. no more than a cup full of dead bees on the bottom board, plenty of capped honey and a mouse nest burrowed into two frames on the outside wall. No mouse corpse and the entrance was covered with a guard which I put on once the weather began to get chilly here in Rhode Island. The only time I took the guard off since then was about a month ago to treat with OA , on and off fairly quickly. So, is it possible that a mouse would move in to a healthy active hive ( before I attached the guard ) and have driven the bees away ? I didn’t notice a lack of activity when I treated but it was a cold wet day and I expected the bees to be quiet and there was a couple of flyers during the process. Very perplexing ! I’m also assuming that I can’t extract the remaining honey for human consumption as it was in the hive during the OA treatment, but that I could feed it back to the bees in the spring. If anyone has any thoughts on this situation I’d love to hear them .. thanks.
 

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! I’m also assuming that I can’t extract the remaining honey for human consumption as it was in the hive during the OA treatment, but that I could feed it back to the bees in the spring. If anyone has any thoughts on this situation I’d love to hear them .. thanks.
I'd be more thinking of mouse urine contamination than OA.
 

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I seriously doubt mouse urine killed the bees.
it could have been a mite crash even though you did do a oa treatment
did you see dead bees on the comb with their butts sticking out of the cells? if so it was early starvation even though there was some honey. this is my guess.

was the colony very strong going into winter?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback .. yes there were about a dozen bees dead inside the comb, butts sticking out. I left the hive with three full mediums of capped honey for the winter ( I only use mediums ) and the colony, which was a split, had been strong and productive. The hive itself is wrapped , has an insulated cover and well ventilated
 

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what mite treatments did you do over the course of the year prior to the OAV?
 

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So, is it possible that a mouse would move in to a healthy active hive ( before I attached the guard ) and have driven the bees away ?
I think this is very unlikely. I've had mice get into hives, and with the cluster up above the nest, they have cohabited during the winter months. Better I think to focus on other reasons the colony didn't make it.
 

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I think you will feel better about feeding it back. Your imagination will make you think of mouse urine regardless. I had an old cupboard I thought I could get the mouse smell out of.......I thought.:rolleyes:
 

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Frank, first you have to get rid of the mouse...
 

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Not totally sure of this but... last year 10 hives in my 2nd season of keeping. With rain and cold weather in no. Bama, field mice moved into 4 of my hives. I think as cold as it was, bees didn't abscond on me. The mice at them like candy from the cluster. We're very healthy, and packed with bees 3 weeks before I discovered... I had no bees, and the mice loved their honey, and liked chewing up the frames. I cleaned everything up, and removed frames, and hives from area, including their nest, and put to rest as many live rats as I could get a hold of. The fest scattered. Any comes they didn't touch went to other hives, and bleached the rest. Mice are your enemy !!!
 

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I find mice in some of my hives every spring. They tend to damage some comb but otherwise don’t do any harm. They don’t bother the bees. I’ve had them move into hives that had failed already but never had bees leave because of the mice.
My best guess is that your hive had already failed and the mice moved in.
 

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I find mice in some of my hives every spring. They tend to damage some comb but otherwise don’t do any harm. They don’t bother the bees. I’ve had them move into hives that had failed already but never had bees leave because of the mice.
My best guess is that your hive had already failed and the mice moved in.
I found bee carcasses and mouse poop on the bottom drawer of one of my hives, first time ever had this happen. I can’t figure out how the carcasses got between the screened BB and the drawer. Any ideas? zThe bees are alive, the FLIR showed that.
 

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I thought I had tried everything:rolleyes: but dang! I missed the obvious! Pound for pound, I think mouse beats cat urine for staying power.
Yup, and I have feral cats that live in the barn. Cat urine is nothing compared to frames that mice lived in over the winter. They go right onto the burn pile in the spring.
 
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