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Guard Duty- Hallowe'en Style

posted Oct 28, 2018, 2:48 PM by Helen Mooney   [ updated Oct 28, 2018, 2:50 PM ]
With temperatures plummeting, and less and less bee related jobs to do, we turned our attention today to fitting mouse-guards.  As it happened the bees were active during sunnier spells and are still bringing in ivy pollen (28th October) but all things considered, we felt it was the right time to fit the mouse guards as mice can enter this time of year and do enormous damage when bees are in cluster, which is possibly happening after sun set and until around 11am these mornings.  Soon it will be for the majority of daylight hours and then finally, almost 24/7. 

We had already fitted entrance reducers - our preferred orientation is to have the gap facing upwards and the wooden lip towards the bottom (see photo) so that if dead bees mount up during the winter and are not removed, they will not pile up enough to block the entrance.  Today we just pinned the metal mouse guards over those entrance blocks.

It is important to fasten the mouse guards well- in the past, in more remote sites, badgers have managed to dislodge them, when bees are at their most quiescent. 

We noted that there was still pollen coming in from ivy and that there was  the odd wasp still to be seen!

Now you could leave things to the domestic cat, or worse again, to chance, and not fit any mouse guards. But our cat is too preoccupied with birds, and Hallowe'en costumes at the moment, in between attempts to enter the house at every conceivable opportunity and through every possible entrance, and, well, this cat wont lick my wounds if I ever lose another hive to mice!