Monday, December 12, 2016

winterizing my bee hives

I'd like to do my best to keep my bees alive this winter so I've been reading and asking advice at my local bee club. As they say, ask two beekeepers the same question and you'll get three answers. On top of that, bees have a mind of their own and you can treat two hives the same way and they'll still be totally different. So, here's what I've done for my hives. (more...)


Anonymous said...

What do the mice do if they get in the hive?

kathy said...

If a mouse gets into a bee hive after its gotten cold and the bees have gathered into a cluster, it will eat honey comb and nest in the comb. They make a big mess, eating honey and wax, bringing in nesting materials, and sometimes having litters.

This happens in the winter because the bees are clustered together to stay warm and they can't defend the hive. In the summer, mice aren't a problem. In winter, if the mouse gets into the hive a day early or leaves a day late and it becomes warm enough for the bees to break cluster, the mouse is a gonner. The bees can easily sting it to death. Then, since they can't get it out and are meticulous housekeepers that don't want a rotting mouse in their hive, they mummify it. They encasing it with propolis, a thick sticky substance they make for sealing things together.

So beekeepers put up all sorts of different types of mouse guards once the weather cools. You need something that keeps the tiny gnawing critters out, but doesn't prevent the bees from coming and going.

Anonymous said...

Wow very interesting