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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a first year bee keeper, this is my only hive and I live in northern Ohio. Winters get rough. My colony barely made enough winter honey but the hive was the right weight. I came out today after walking past the hive and noticing the entrance reducer had been moved. I looked at the inside and im completely shattered. Im not sure if the mouse or whatever it is is still in there. So basically I have two questions. Are my bees going to make it/how can I help them make it?
Road surface Snow Grass Wood Asphalt

And how do I get this ****ed mouse out?
 

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You wont know till you look. Personally I would undo the ratchet strap, pry apart the bottom box from the bottom board and lift it enough to reposition the ratchet strap so it binds the two hive bodies and cover together. Slide the assembly forward a few inches then have someone tip it back for a good look up into the frames to assess what brood you have left and how much comb damage. What is the weight of the hive. If it has lost a lot of weight you could maybe get some clue from that too. It may be cleaned out or only molested a bit.
 

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Sorry to see that, it happens to the best of us though. Rodents can definitely cause the demise of a colony.
 
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There is nothing that prevents you from looking inside.
Especially IF the mouse is inside - it makes all the sense to chase her out AND screen the hive afterwords.
What do you have to loose?
A bee colony? :)
It is really a no-brainer situation.
Don't worry of the cold - brief opening of the hive will do nothing terminal to the bees.

PS: the boxes maybe heavy, but you'll figure the way through this, surely.
 

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I am new also and this is my first year, also in north eastern Ohio but I am baffled since listening to Fredderick Dunn on his videos, he says a mouse can't get through an opening of only 3/8 inches. A beekeeper in my area told me that mice have already found their home before this and I should have no problems with them trying to get in to make a new home for the winter. Are you sure a Skunk didn't remove the entrance reducer? I can't picture a mouse doing that but then again, they never fail to surprise me.
 

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I would also recommend check out what is going on by looking in.

If the entrance reducer was loose in the slot I could easily see a mouse being able to pull it out.

You may be able to chase a mouse out by hitting the hive with OAV to drive it out. I think I have seen this mentioned on here before because it burns the mouses lungs and it will run out.

I would add a mouse guard to the hive ASAP as soon as you figure out what is going on.
 

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I think Wil may be onto something.
A two pronged attack.
One varmit removed the entrance reducer, which then allowed the mouse in.
Unless your entrance reducer was poorly positioned or maybe that mouse has been working out and is strong enough to remove the reducer.

I'd set up a camera, I'd expect you may see a repeat performance.
 

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I agree 100% with Frank's earlier reply - you need to strap the hive together in such a way as to be able to tilt it back to get a looksee from underneath. There's a lot of wood fibres mixed in with wax in that debris, which suggests that at least some of your frames will be badly chewed. With luck only the bottom box will have been affected, so the colony itself may be perfectly ok.
Once you've established the extent of the damage, you may need to make some provision for emergency feeding - either a shim or a super on top of your existing boxes to provide space to house a supply of fondant or damp-set sugar - whatever you choose to use. This feed may not be required until Spring (depending upon the extent of damage) but it would be useful to start planning for this soon.
Attaching a robust (metal mesh ?) mouse guard asap would also seem like a good idea - else this scenario could be repeated.
'best,
LJ
 

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,,,, he says a mouse can't get through an opening of only 3/8 inches.
A mouse can't get through a hole 3/8 inch in diameter, and probably can't get through a hole of 1/2 inch diameter. BUT a 3/8 inch wide slot is a different situation entirely. I mostly run top openings with a couple of 1/2 inch holes in a sturdy piece for ventilation.
 

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Your location is not mentioned but if you can get a look at where the damage is most likely without chilling the upper boxes it will be to your advantage.
 

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If the colony/cluster is still intact and alive, you can keep them alive all winter with sugar blocks.

Put your ear next to / against the side of the hive. If you hear buzzing, the colony is still alive. If you don't, give it a good thump, and you should hear a brief roar, like an engine revving up.

If you hear something, you need to look inside to see if their stores are still intact. If not, you will need to feed them solid sugar, as it is too late in the year for liquid food.

If you don't hear anything, then you should look inside just in case. At that point, you have very little to lose.
 

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You may be able to chase a mouse out by hitting the hive with OAV to drive it out. I think I have seen this mentioned on here before because it burns the mouses lungs and it will run out.
WHAT!!! I thought we did not need to wear any kind of protection, so how could it hurt a mouse???😄😄😄😄
 

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Don't worry about it, place one or two peanut butter baited mousetraps on the landing board and maybe one underneath. Put mouse guards on the next day after the mice are dead and clean any mouse nests in the spring.
Great idea; never clicked with me.
The peanut butter is irresistible to the mice.
I don't even reload the traps with butter much anymore - that initial load butter scent is enough to keep drawing the mice into empty traps just well; it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am new also and this is my first year, also in north eastern Ohio but I am baffled since listening to Fredderick Dunn on his videos, he says a mouse can't get through an opening of only 3/8 inches. A beekeeper in my area told me that mice have already found their home before this and I should have no problems with them trying to get in to make a new home for the winter. Are you sure a Skunk didn't remove the entrance reducer? I can't picture a mouse doing that but then again, they never fail to surprise me.
This is most likely what happened. The entrance reducer was chewed but it was also out of place likely because of another animal. I set up a camera just incase something like this happens again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Don't worry about it, place one or two peanut butter baited mousetraps on the landing board and maybe one underneath. Put mouse guards on the next day after the mice are dead and clean any mouse nests in the spring.
I will definitely try this thank you!
 
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