Bees - Mouse Guard | Home & Garden
One of the final bee chores before it gets too much colder is the addition of a mouse guard on the front of the hive. This is a metal or wood excluder that narrows the opening of the hive to a small slit just big enough for a bee. This prevents mice from moving in over winter. I know what you're thinking! Why on earth would a mouse try to move into a hive! Well... lots' of reasons! It's warm, it provides shelter and there's lots of food! But what about the bees!!!? Won't they just sting the mouse to death? Sometimes yes and sometimes no! If the bees are still very active and flying about as they are now in early November then the mouse will have a hard time moving in because the bees are pretty fierce about guarding the entrance from intruders. However, as it gets colder the bees will begin to cluster. That means they will pull in towards the center of the hive and mass together to conserve heat and survive. They're not hibernating but actually continue their daily business of raising young and feeding on honey. They do this in the center of the cluster where it is warm, sometimes as warm as 90 degrees farenheight! In this state they are less concerned about intruders and that's when mice can get in unnoticed. If that does happen the mice can actually cause a lot of damage to the hive, destroying wood and frames and sometimes even killing the bees themselves! So mice in the hive is something I want to avoid!