Quantcast

Crafty mouse

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Newbeeneil 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,477
Reaction score
364
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
I was checking on fondant in a double nuc today and took the top off to find the insulation had been nibbled. When I lifted the insulation I found this little field mouse taking advantage of the insulation! He hasn't found the fondant yet but there is still time. It's a strong nuc so I would guess the mouse didn't fancy his chances in the hive so chose a warm place under the roof.
 

Attachments

Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
290
Reaction score
50
Location
Monmouth
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
I was checking on fondant in a double nuc today and took the top off to find the insulation had been nibbled. When I lifted the insulation I found this little field mouse taking advantage of the insulation! He hasn't found the fondant yet but there is still time. It's a strong nuc so I would guess the mouse didn't fancy his chances in the hive so chose a warm place under the roof.
I would have thought eating the insulation would kill him?
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
11,598
Reaction score
1,493
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
It wasn’t being eaten, he was hollowing out a cavity. Nice and cosy over winter with underfloor heating!
How did the mouse get into the roof space ? I have timber nucs but the roofs sit squarely on the top of the Nuc ..there is no gap that a mouse could get in through ?

You might consider modifying the roof if there is a space for a mouse to get in .. once they have left their odour behind you will find that they or their mates will return.

Pretty little mouse though ... I hope it survived - I know, I'm a big softie but it was only looking for a cosy home to settle down for winter and you provided it !
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
290
Reaction score
50
Location
Monmouth
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
3
It wasn’t being eaten, he was hollowing out a cavity. Nice and cosy over winter with underfloor heating!
I often wonder about bees nibbling polystyrene insulation, whether it harms them? Showing my ignorance of insect physiology here, but can bees 'eat', or only drink, as in nectar
 

Newbeeneil 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,477
Reaction score
364
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
How did the mouse get into the roof space ? I have timber nucs but the roofs sit squarely on the top of the Nuc ..there is no gap that a mouse could get in through ?

You might consider modifying the roof if there is a space for a mouse to get in .. once they have left their odour behind you will find that they or their mates will return.

Pretty little mouse though ... I hope it survived - I know, I'm a big softie but it was only looking for a cosy home to settle down for winter and you provided it !
The mouse wasn't in the roof space until I lifted the roof and 4" deep PIR to look at the fondant. My crown boards have a 40-50mm lip that the PIR fits snugly into. Before I lifted the lid I assume the mouse was between the lid and the PIR nibbling out the recess.
I had another look this morning when I was in the apiary and there is no sign of any more excavation. I'm like you Phillip, a bit of a softy and I was quite disappointed he hadn't taken up residence.
 

Pembroke 

New Bee
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
49
Location
Carmarthen
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
4
I often wonder about bees nibbling polystyrene insulation, whether it harms them? Showing my ignorance of insect physiology here, but can bees 'eat', or only drink, as in nectar
Well there was some stories of bees nibbling the outer casing of varroa mites to kill them rather than sting so that would imply they can bite. Where I've read about using the polystyrene insulation for beehives the advice has always been to seal the edges with the aluminium tape used to join the boards together in house installations otherwise the bees will get into it and it's a devils own job getting them out again. Something like this: Aluminium Foil Tape 100mm x 45m (toolstation.com) (Other products and suppliers are available).
 

understanding_bees 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
127
Reaction score
98
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
2
Well there was some stories of bees nibbling the outer casing of varroa mites to kill them rather than sting so that would imply they can bite. Where I've read about using the polystyrene insulation for beehives the advice has always been to seal the edges with the aluminium tape used to join the boards together in house installations otherwise the bees will get into it and it's a devils own job getting them out again. Something like this: Aluminium Foil Tape 100mm x 45m (toolstation.com) (Other products and suppliers are available).
Can bees bite? Yes, they can.
Some time ago, I used some fibreglass insect screen in a hive base, to restrict the bees, and they chewed it out.
 

Little_bees 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
349
Reaction score
212
Location
Essex
Hive Type
national
I often wonder about bees nibbling polystyrene insulation, whether it harms them? Showing my ignorance of insect physiology here, but can bees 'eat', or only drink, as in nectar
Bees eat pollen as well as drinking nectar.

They also use their strong mandibles to chew, e.g when building wax. The very first thing they do as a newly-emerged bee is chew their way out of the cell!
They'll also chew anything which is in their way which they can't move freely, e.g newspaper for uniting. They don't swallow it though!
 

understanding_bees 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
127
Reaction score
98
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
2
Bees eat pollen as well as drinking nectar.

They also use their strong mandibles to chew, e.g when building wax. The very first thing they do as a newly-emerged bee is chew their way out of the cell!
They'll also chew anything which is in their way which they can't move freely, e.g newspaper for uniting. They don't swallow it though!
I forgot to mention in my previous post (about bees being able to chew) - bees can chew rubber bands.
I was able to collect a swarm very recently, and they set about making new comb very quickly. I used rubber bands to hold this new comb into position in a honey frame, and within a couple of days they had chewed through most of the rubber bands, and dragged them out of the hive..
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
29
Reaction score
17
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
none
Wrapping fondant with clingfilm to keep it soft works well but the bees will chew it no problem and chuck the bits out of the hive.
 

Little_bees 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
349
Reaction score
212
Location
Essex
Hive Type
national
Wrapping fondant with clingfilm to keep it soft works well but the bees will chew it no problem and chuck the bits out of the hive.
I'm sure that clingfilm is as bad for bees as it is for every other animal that encounters it.
Best stick to hard plastic, e.g takeaway tubs.
 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
2,385
Reaction score
534
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
I'm sure that clingfilm is as bad for bees as it is for every other animal that encounters it.
Best stick to hard plastic, e.g takeaway tubs.
I agree with your thinking, however you cannot put much fondant in a takeaway tub.
 

Little_bees 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
349
Reaction score
212
Location
Essex
Hive Type
national
I agree with your thinking, however you cannot put much fondant in a takeaway tub.
I've only ever given small top-ups at end of winter and a takeaway tub has been big enough.
For more fondant you'd need a bigger tub!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
11,598
Reaction score
1,493
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
I agree with your thinking, however you cannot put much fondant in a takeaway tub.
If you cut the hole in the bottom of the takeaway container so the lid is uppermost it is really easy to add more if they need it ... you can get containers that are up to 1 litre in size and a 1 litre tub will hold about 1.2Kg of fondant - which is enough to keep even a large colony going for a couple of weeks if they need it - a lot longer if it is just a top up.

Like these:

 

Murox 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
2,385
Reaction score
534
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Hive Type
other
If you cut the hole in the bottom of the takeaway container so the lid is uppermost it is really easy to add more if they need it ... you can get containers that are up to 1 litre in size and a 1 litre tub will hold about 1.2Kg of fondant - which is enough to keep even a large colony going for a couple of weeks if they need it - a lot longer if it is just a top up.

Like these:

Top tip, thanks. We've only got mean takeaway size tubs up here:) I've never seen a litre sized one before, even ice cream only comes in 500ml max size where I am.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
24,728
Reaction score
1,992
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Top tip, thanks. We've only got mean takeaway size tubs up here:) I've never seen a litre sized one before, even ice cream only comes in 500ml max size where I am.
You have icecream there now! last time I was ashore catering in Campbeltown I asked the lady in the grocer's for an aubergine and almost caused a riot! they were setting up the wicker man outside the library when I went back to the boat :xmas-smiley-016:
 

Latest posts

Top