Good Bye, You Sorry-Ass Mouse

When we installed our two new colonies on Sunday, I watched several Amazon girls hauling grass and twigs and dead leaf material from their hive. Uh oh, I thought.

Today I dug into their hive to check their spring progress, and I discovered a dead mouse between the top and bottom boxes. I scraped his sorry ass off with my hive tool and flung him out into the woods.

Then I saw that he’d eaten away a huge hunk of beeswax foundation from two frames and had built his nest in there. There was more nest material on the bottom board.

I cleaned it all up, all the while apologizing to the Amazons for not installing a mouse guard at their entrance. Of course, those girls had already made mincemeat out of Mr Mouse; but I hate that they’d spent one ounce of energy or precious springtime worrying about him rather than on pollen collection and comb drawing and brood rearing.

Pine cones on the bee hive, and candy at the door

Bees Are Everywhere in the Yellow

The bees are feasting…absolutely feasting out there, and I’m sooooo happy about it.

Today is cloudless, and the temperatures are hovering right at 50 degrees. So, I made my first batch of bee candy and delivered it to the hive. When I got there, those girls were already kicking ass. I mean, they were hauling dead bees out of the hive, and they were flying in and out and getting down to business. I was thrilled to see them so alive. They were noisy. I was elated.

I took my smoker with me in case they were a little pissy and rambunctious after being so cooped up, and I smoked the entrance just to calm them down a bit…and the moment that smoke hit the entrance to the hive, a fat mouse scampered out. Ooooh. That made me mad. I should have put an entrance reducer or a mouse guard in place because those little rascals can create havoc in a hive.

Anyway, I removed the protective, black cardboard box for the season, and I plugged up those little air holes with pine cones so the cold air that’s coming later doesn’t make thing any harder on them than need be. I placed a layer of bee candy inside the top lid of the hive, so they can eat it when the weather gets bad again. But I also decided to simply leave a pan full of the stuff at their front door so they could come outside and have a little sugar party.

But then I realized that they were already having a party…a yellow-flower, first-bloom-of-the-season party. We’ve got these tiny yellow flowers that bloom mid-March on our hill, and I realized that the bees were going deliriously crazy in the flowers. I stood out there with them, and I could literally hear the buzzing. And once my eyes relaxed, I saw bees everywhere in the yellow. I am so so so so happy.

Pine cones on the bee hive, and candy at the door
Pine cones on the bee hive, and candy at the door