Today was really sunny and the bee’s from all five hive’s were flying well.
They were mostly on cleansing flights, cleaning themselves and clearing dead bees away, but also collecting water which will enable them to dilute the capped stores in to usable food.
Although bee’s are quiet in the winter, it is important to go through your hives throughout the cold months to see how the stores are doing, to make sure that the bees will not starve due to no pollen & nectar available. It is possible to lose a hive in this way.
In the autumn you should put mouse guards onto the hive entrance to stop the hive being robbed of its precious stores by mice. If even one mouse gets in it will almost certainly destroy all the comb and in the process the bee’s .
Today all the hives were half full of stores, so even though they are getting through them, eating well, there is still plenty left, well at least until next month’s inspection!
The mouse guard from one hive had unfortunately come a drift and (sods law) a mouse had entered and started to eat the honey, and the wax making the frame useless.
The frame had to be replaced.
Below are some photos of the mouse damage.
luckily it was only one frame but could of been a lot worse.
This is damaged at the top of the frame, it goes right down to the center.
The yellow colour is the wax, the orange colour is where the pollen was stored, the dark colour is where the brood was (and also where the stored honey was put for the winter), but the mouse has eaten it.
The rugby ball shape is the shape of the brood patten. Imagine a rugby ball in the middle of the hive, this is the brood, then on the outside of the brood the bee’s put stores and pollen.