The other day (2/18/13) at Hive Site 5 I noticed something that has me more than a little nervous. 1110 showed evidence of an unwanted tenant. I don’t know what happened over the course of the winter but 1110’s mouse guard moved out of position. There were tell-tale signs of mouse activity on the outside of the guard and the hive body. It is likely that a mouse has taken up residence in there.
1110 had less spotting than what 1203 on that visit. This is not what I would have expected given each relative hive’s activity last summer. 1110 was a boomer! If a mouse is in there it will greatly decrease 1110 chance of survival. A goal for 2014 is to make all hives mouse proof ALL THE TIME. I have been experimenting with some bottom boards that reduce the entrance to 5/16 of an inch for the last 2 years. I like them, but some of my old mentors have really turned their noses up at them believing that bees need that huge traditional rectangular opening during the summer. I have been wrong before…. but so have they. This calls for some experimentation.
1303 and 1306 were sporting these bottom boards last year and they did well. It is my OPINION that the use of 1″ holes like the one shown in 1306 as well as a top entrance will alleviate any traffic issues. I am going to hive all 14XX captures into this situation in 2014. I will find out if there are any traffic issues. There will be pictures and I posts about their progress.
Does a reduced entrance in the summer make you nervous?
What is your hypothesis on this experiment?
What else do you think?