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The Poot 

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Judging by mouse/rat activity around my house a bit premature to remove mouse guards. Hope you put them back! We can still have more "beasts from the east" or north. Found two holes. One in a bank outside my perimeter, first smoked then filled in. No activity noticed. Then one in very slight slope in my lawn! Looks like moss has been collected as nest material. My other half said he saw a mouse nose. Put a mouse trap encased in a cold frame over the hole, but no mouse caught. Will dig it up today to see what we find. It is quite a big hole about 7cm in diameter. Would that be a rat rather than a mouse?
Hi Beeno, I won’t be putting them back as I don’t want the hard earned pollen to be lost on entry to the hive. I also think the danger time for mice to be searching for a warm spot is over. If they haven’t found one yet they’re probably dead after the frosts!
I have quite a lot of bank voles and field voles around my garden and they emerge from under my concrete paths for the suet niblets we feed the birds with🧐. Could that be what your mouse friend is? I like voles as they are top of the menu for owls.
A 7 cm hole could well be ratticus as that’s a fairly large entrance hole. That’s the one I would be more concerned with.
I pretty much let them get on with things though and only bother when they have parties in my loft after dark.
 

beeno 

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Hi Beeno, I won’t be putting them back as I don’t want the hard earned pollen to be lost on entry to the hive. I also think the danger time for mice to be searching for a warm spot is over. If they haven’t found one yet they’re probably dead after the frosts!
I have quite a lot of bank voles and field voles around my garden and they emerge from under my concrete paths for the suet niblets we feed the birds with🧐. Could that be what your mouse friend is? I like voles as they are top of the menu for owls.
A 7 cm hole could well be ratticus as that’s a fairly large entrance hole. That’s the one I would be more concerned with.
I pretty much let them get on with things though and only bother when they have parties in my loft after dark.
I am on high alert here and don't want any parties in my loft! I don't mind the odd wood mouse which eats the dead bees. However, certainly don't want the other kinds around my garden. It is a lot of waterlogged areas in the Beeches, so maybe there is relocation going for dry nest sites. I dare say they managed a few more breeding rounds as well because of the mild autumn we had. Could be voles I guess as the owls hunt in my garden. Let you know what we find. Thanks for your input.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I am on high alert here and don't want any parties in my loft! I don't mind the odd wood mouse which eats the dead bees. However, certainly don't want the other kinds around my garden. It is a lot of waterlogged areas in the Beeches, so maybe there is relocation going for dry nest sites. I dare say they managed a few more breeding rounds as well because of the mild autumn we had. Could be voles I guess as the owls hunt in my garden. Let you know what we find. Thanks for your input.
Instead of the impossible task of dealing with mice outside why not just keep a few traps permanently in the loft. It’s what I do and it works very well.
 

beeno 

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Instead of the impossible task of dealing with mice outside why not just keep a few traps permanently in the loft. It’s what I do and it works very well.
That reminds me of my dear dad and I when I was about 10 at my grandma's cottage. I told my dad that I could see lots of mice darting about on the snow in the light from the window. He did not believe me, but indulged me nevertheless by putting a trap on the doorstep to the boot room. Did not take many minutes till the trap sprung. Got 12 mice. When the initial excitement had warn off we heard a noise at the window and there was a little mouse looking in at us. When my dad moved the little mouse slid backwards down the broom handle. The one that got away. How cute was that!
 

beeno 

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Hi Beeno, I won’t be putting them back as I don’t want the hard earned pollen to be lost on entry to the hive. I also think the danger time for mice to be searching for a warm spot is over. If they haven’t found one yet they’re probably dead after the frosts!
I have quite a lot of bank voles and field voles around my garden and they emerge from under my concrete paths for the suet niblets we feed the birds with🧐. Could that be what your mouse friend is? I like voles as they are top of the menu for owls.
A 7 cm hole could well be ratticus as that’s a fairly large entrance hole. That’s the one I would be more concerned with.
I pretty much let them get on with things though and only bother when they have parties in my loft after dark.
Hi again, You were absolutely correct it was bank voles! Thought I had seen an immature rat from the distance as it was too large for a mouse. A maze of tunnels, but could not find the nest. Have to change the bait from cheese to apple. Get some peanut butter next weeks delivery. Meant to make a peanut butter curry for a change! Thanks for your advice.
 

GuyNir 

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First day of flying since early Dec. 8c, sunny and light winds. First pollen brought in. Happy 😊
 

Erichalfbee 

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That reminds me of my dear dad and I when I was about 10 at my grandma's cottage. I told my dad that I could see lots of mice darting about on the snow in the light from the window. He did not believe me, but indulged me nevertheless by putting a trap on the doorstep to the boot room. Did not take many minutes till the trap sprung. Got 12 mice. When the initial excitement had warn off we heard a noise at the window and there was a little mouse looking in at us. When my dad moved the little mouse slid backwards down the broom handle. The one that got away. How cute was that!
Well mice outside have my blessing
Live and let live.
 

beeno 

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Two of my colonies with hive entrances covered in yellow pollen. Must investigate!
 

jeff33 

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Took advantage of a sunny day with no wind and no rain/snow or ice to check stores on all colonies and add fondant as required.
One mini mating nuc dead of isolation starvation: everything else fine..Bees actually flying and bringing in snowdrop pollen.
Same here, all hives are looking healthy with some stronger than others and bees were bringing pollen.
 

jeff33 

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The problem is they eventually end up inside!
One of my apiary is full of dormice and had a couple of them settling under the pitched roof of my hive. They had chewed through the celotex to make a cosy nest.... Caught them early enough and replaced with a flat roof. They also chewed all around the celotex of another hive trying to get under the roof. Gonna have to think of something for next winter.
 

The Poot 

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Hi again, You were absolutely correct it was bank voles! Thought I had seen an immature rat from the distance as it was too large for a mouse. A maze of tunnels, but could not find the nest. Have to change the bait from cheese to apple. Get some peanut butter next weeks delivery. Meant to make a peanut butter curry for a change! Thanks for your advice.
I assume the peanut butter is for the rat?
Bank voles are harmless and really small so wouldn’t look like a rat from a distance. They won’t invade your loft😀
If you’re close to a water course, you might have a water vole, which looks more like a rat. Again, harmless and on the endangered list. Need looking after👍 A 7cm hole suggests it could be one.
Before baiting up any traps, please try to positively identify what you’ve got.
 

beeno 

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I assume the peanut butter is for the rat?
Bank voles are harmless and really small so wouldn’t look like a rat from a distance. They won’t invade your loft😀
If you’re close to a water course, you might have a water vole, which looks more like a rat. Again, harmless and on the endangered list. Need looking after👍 A 7cm hole suggests it could be one.
Before baiting up any traps, please try to positively identify what you’ve got.
No, peanut butter is for the bank vole as they are vegetarian or more precisely for the trap for the bank vole. In the meantime a try a bit of Bramley apple nice and fragrant. Bank voles are between 13-19cm and they eat roots, gnaw bushes and your veg and have constructed an underground maze 1sqm in a couple of days where I am growing my butternut squashes. If I had some land I would not bother, but I only have a garden. At least they will not bother my bees. No water courses that close. Hope they move of their own accord.
 

The Poot 

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No, peanut butter is for the bank vole as they are vegetarian or more precisely for the trap for the bank vole. In the meantime a try a bit of Bramley apple nice and fragrant. Bank voles are between 13-19cm and they eat roots, gnaw bushes and your veg and have constructed an underground maze 1sqm in a couple of days where I am growing my butternut squashes. If I had some land I would not bother, but I only have a garden. At least they will not bother my bees. No water courses that close. Hope they move of their own accord.
Understood, but......
 

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Niv 

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Inspired by the top dollar thread, I made my first trial jar of set honey yesterday. I decided I need a bigger pestle and mortar for when I do a full scale batch. But it worked pretty well.
 
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