What Attacked My Hives? During a recent visit to my apiary, I discover damage to my hives. In this article, I speculate who the culprits are, and describe how I made good on the damage.
My winter checks should have resulted in a short visit to my apiary to ensure that each colony of bees had sufficient stores. I received a shock when I discovered one of my polystyrene hives had gained holes. I initially thought that woodpeckers had been responsible for what attacked my hives.
Particles of polystyrene littered the ground and the hive entrance looked like the opening to a cave.
Are Mice Are The Culprits?
Inside the hive frames of comb had chunks missing, and there were no signs of the bees. It seemed that something had tunnelled into the walls of the hive and gnawed at the wooden frames. In conclusion, mice are the culprits!
I discovered that a second poly hive in a poor state of repair. The bees are alive but urgently I must them to a weather tight hive – it is January after all.
Remedial Work To Repair My Attacked Hives
I went away to grab my smoker, and a replacement hive, but this time a wooden one. Gently lifting each buzzing frame of comb, I re-homed the colony into a new box.
But this wasn’t the end of the work. It was horrifying to discover evidence of chewed hives, and the area of the attack was always the same – the entrance.
With the nucleus hives, I reinforced the entrances with pieces of metal queen excluder – this perforated metal sheet allows the bees to enter and leave the hive, yet it should protect it from rodents. This meant cutting to size a metal queen excluder so it would cover the entrance to the nuc.
Similarly, the full sized hives all had metal mouse guards attached to their entrances.
Hopefully, these devices prevent my hives getting attacked again.
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