Crisis - mouse!!!!!

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Busy Bee

House Bee
Mar 1, 2009
Reaction score
N. Ireland
Hive Type
Hello Bee Keepers,

I have a crisis. A mouse is in my hive and I can't get rid of it, The little bugger comes in the night and into the hive. I have found fresh mouse dropping on the Varroa floor and some chewed bees.

I don't under stand as this hive feels (heft) wall to wall brood and half, I am being forced into hive inspection to check for damage and a queen.

What should I do as I have had to remove the entrance block to let the bees in and out. Its a little early to open the hive I think but until now the hive is going brilliantly and I don't want to lose it over a bloody mouse....

Putting on a mouse entrance would cause havoc at the entrance with the number if bees plus I feel the mouse guard would act like a pollen trap causing problems for the bees..

Help please.

Busy Bee
Is it only in the 1 hive, can you move the brood box with bees onto a new floor elsewhere ? is it on a stand ? raised off the ground ?

You need to see how much has been destroyed so opening is unavoidable, transfer any frames with bees on into a nuc or another fresh brood box, and you will need to have a mouseguard on for the time being till you have killed the bugger. The bees will cope.

I expect there will be a lot of mess so a thorough clean and scorching will be needed, it does concern me that the mouse is getting in without resistance, how many bees are in there ??
I am being serious here.

Kick the hive. (provided you are not in a garden situation)

The bees are on a stand, its only tthe 1 hive Imoved the other one yesterday to stop the mouse getting into it. Its brood and a half and its full with bees, angry little gits. I had a quick look and seems normal but I didn't do inspection seems to bee alot of brood and emerging bees but I would need to do a full hive inspection to check for damage....

Busy Bee
When I want to dissuade a mouse from eating my peas I put a trap in a flowerpot with a mouse sized hole in it and set the trap with a peanut which they seem to find irresistible. Why not try this next to the hive?

I think that if the mouse was making itself at home at the time of kicking, that it might not be going anywhere very fast any more. Bees 1, Mouse 0 - hopefully the case.
Our association held a training day yesterday at our education apiary and there was a mouse nest in there. The hive entrance was kept to a small slot approx 8mm tall but it still managed to get in. Mouse guards are one option or if your cheap like me then a row of nails 6mm wide into the entrance block like jail cell bars.

Here's a couple of pictures of the frame and nest.



Sorry about the colour balance of the pictures, for some reason the camera settings were off.
If said mouse did not emerge there are three possibilities.

1. It is dead.

2 It's not there.

3. It never was there.

Done a full intrusive hive inspection today. The floor was covered in bees mouse droppings and chewed bees. The frames where all fully intact with no mouse damage. Brood at every stage across 5 brood frames, brood at early stage across 3 super frames. Marked and clipped the queen put excluded on. Made a new mouse guard. Funny thing there were bees across all 22 frames. More bees than amount of eggs laid, although they were light on stores. Maybe a feed if the weather turns poor.


Busy Bee

(Maybe the Mouse was'nt there very long)

Busy Bee
Mike a - thats some extremely WHITE suits in the photo, new beekeepers by any chance !!
The hive entrance was kept to a small slot approx 8mm tall but it still managed to get in. Mouse guards are one option or if your cheap like me then a row of nails 6mm wide into the entrance block like jail cell bars.

Commercially supplied UK mouse guard holes from a number of sources are around 9.4mm diameter, been thinking for a long time that these are way too big. Some have said its the combination of height and the width that matters and that 8mm high slots are (were!) ok - I guess not.

On dry days I've noticed no pollen being disturbed by the existing metal mouse guard holes, so there is probably scope for diameter reduction, the only difficulty I've seen is I believe related to the metal thickness, the bees are sometimes reluctant to pass the barrier, maybe something say 1/8" thick or more would be better.
very clean gloves as well not like my brown ones, lol
I am sure I have seen somewhere that the commercially available mouse guards with 9mm holes will keep mice out but not shrews which will squeeze through just about anything . Wooden entrance blocks dont do the job unless you nail through as an extra level of protection .
A mouse will flatten itself out and get through a normal wooden block and thats before he/she chews the front lip off .
Dont fret too much about bees 'backing up' at a restricted entrance when the weather is conducive to foraging , they will sort themselves out and any small loss of productivity is far out weighed by the loss of a colony to rodent damage .
Just as an aside I would warn against taking mouseguards out at the moment with the change in weather this week . If you still have them fitted , leave them where they are .

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