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Possible Mouse In Hive


#1

So, unfortunately, my only hive didn’t survive the winter. I became aware of this fact sometime in January but didn’t get around to opening the hive and checking out why until yesterday.

One observation I made was that possibly a mouse managed to enter the hive and the colony was not strong enough to defend itself against the mouse. See the following four images (it appears I’m only allowed to post a single image as a new user, I’ll try and add others as replies to this post):

It appears that the mouse chewed his way in through the entrance reducer and started eating some of the comb and honey. From the look of it, he only made his way into the brood box and not the super. Does anyone agree with this assumption?

I’d appreciate any thoughts / comments to a fairly new beekeeper.

Thanks,
Brady


#2

Here are the images I wasn’t allowed to attach with the original post:


#3


#4


#5

Also, I noticed that there was some off-colored frames that appeared to have some type of mold growing on them. Here are some examples (see comment above about limitations for number of images as new user):

I know the images aren’t exactly clear, but is some type of grey growth. Does anyone know if that is truly mold and if so, what type it is? If not mold, would it be safe to harvest / place back into a new hive? Would there be any type of processing that I could do to make the honey from the “moldy” frames and the “mouse” frames safe as well?


#6

An additional image of the “moldy” frames:


#7

One last photo I thought I would share:

It appears the bees were attempting to cluster and there wasn’t a chance to take a “cleansing flight” so they just did their “business” on the honey frame. Would this be safe to place back in a new hive or should the frame simply be “trashed”?


#8

Brandy,

Sure looks like a mouse in the House to me. I help a commercial beekeeper up here in the Pacific NW. That’s the frame, comb n hive damage we see up here in one or a couple of hives each Spring. Often several or more of the bottom slat board is too damaged to even thing about saving. We seen the small baby mice scurry into the surround grasses or under the pallets.

As you say, there’s an off smelly odor with plenty of debris n droppings Ta Boot ! Sometimes we can salvage part of a box n few frames

At my house n apiary I have mine raised at least 18" n I use a winter metal type mouse guard. Here’s several shots of one I use from a local supplier.

My metal guard can be used to allow ventilation at entrance if moving or preventing robbing n the flip allows bee access in n out but keeps the mice out so far ! Knock On Wood !

That’s my 2 bits worth ! :wink::+1:.

Gerald.


#9

Hmm, I haven’t seen that with clusters before. Maybe others have. I would suspect Nosema, and personally I would discard all of the frames and scorch or bleach the boxes anyway, for the following reason. It certainly looks like rodent/mouse damage. You are in the US, and Hantavirus comes as a risk with mice, I certainly wouldn’t reuse the other frames either. Sorry. Here is the risk to humans from the virus:


#10

Dawn:

This virus as you know is BAD STUFF … We’ve seen one death this Spring n several near misses !

When I worked up in the U.S. Forest servuce we opened many old wintered over building. We wore dust masked n usually sprayed the floor n walls with a clorax mix to keep the possible contaminated dirt n dust from becoming airborne.

Not sure if that help totally but part of our annual process before using n occupying these forest buildings n backcountry facilities. Nasty little critters. For couple weeks I also put out 5 gallon pails partly filled with H2o. Smeared tasty peanut butter down about 2 to 6 inches inside of pail. Mice try to reach the bait n fall into the water n drown. After several weeks no more mice in water trap. Those diseased rodents don’t do the back float very long …

Well, that’s it from Cascade foothills. Going to be another damp day up here. My poor girls. :umbrella:️:honeybee::sweat_drops::honeybee:
Gerald


#11

Great information, thanks all! I’ll use your suggestions for what to do with my hives from last year and how to make changes for next year.