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Fitting Beehive Mouse Guards

Posted by Rustin Ail - Created: 3 years ago
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3 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 3)

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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

Well a mouse guard is probably a good idea for winter anyway, we'll be putting one on at some point (or leaving the mesh cover in place perhaps...), so that's worth doing whether it helps with  hornets or not.  I've not caught any hornets in the trap I set the other day yet - I put a bit of fatty beef and a rotting banana skin in with the sweet mixture, so I'm sure it's totally irresistable lol :).  We've only had a few hornets this year, but I guess now they know there's a hive here it'll be worse next year, and I don't know what the answer is...  I don't think it's chickens!!  I know someone who keeps their bees in the chicken run and I don't think the birds eat the bees, and they still use hornet traps too. I think we'll need to put traps in place much earlier next year to try to catch the queens... although I only want to catch the asian ones, not the european ones which are less of a threat, normally fairly docile and under threat themselves, so we'll have to do a 'proper' trap next time with the right sized holes and things, because we ended up catching both types this year which was a shame :(. 

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Posted by Forweler - 3 years ago

Thanks Kathyd2,

Yes I've seen the Hornets hawking the bees but I don't think I can do much about that, although I have heard about keeping the hive in a chicken run so that the chickens take the hornets. (Not entirely sure they wont take bees too). I was thinking that the mouse guard might help prevent a mass raid on the hive as I believe that hornets go more for protein as winter approaches. I'm also considering using chicken liver for trap bait

Unfortunately I've seen both species of hornet around.


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Posted by kathyd2 - 3 years ago

We're in our first year beekeeping so can't give you any guaranteed answers, but I;m not sure how much good a mouse guard will do against hornets to be honest.  We have a mesh guard fitted over the entrance to our hive, and had all entrances reduced to one bee space until recently because they were being robbed by other bees and this helped stop the robbers gaining entry to the hive. Also helped against wasps later.However, having watched a hornet or two in action they seem to hover outside the hive and grab bees as they return, tired and laden, from foraging.  So preventing them getting into the hive is definitelfy a good idea (we did find one dead one inside the hive ages ago, along with some very agitated bees), but won't stop them grabbing your bees outside. We've just replaced the wasp trap we had out earlier, which also caught hornets, and we're keeping a close eye on things. Is it asian or european hornets which are causing you the problem?