Monday, October 16, 2017
Having a Little Fun With Entrance Reducers for the Bee Hives
Alright. Grandbaby euphoria can now be tamped down enough to get back to projects, gardening, and beekeeping. But adorable photos may pop up any time so beware! Meanwhile...cool weather has arrived and I got out my entrance reducers to place in the hives.
I have never painted them and so over the winters they have started to look a little rough on the side that faces out toward the elements. The other three sides aren't exposed.
If you aren't a beekeeper then you might wonder what these things are for.
In fall mice can sometimes look for warm places to hunker down for the winter. A warm hive full of honey can seem like just the place. Ah! You say, But won't the bees sting them to death? Maybe. But not if the weather is cold enough for the bees to cluster together to stay warm. At that point the mice can move in and set up a nest while the bees cluster overhead to keep the colony warm. Those mice will also make a meal out of bees and the honey the colony has stored up for itself. So an entrance reducer, also called a rat stick (not by me because...ew...) allows bees to come and go on warmer days but keeps mice and other undesirables out.
I thought this year I might have a little fun with them.
I recently purchased some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. Her color, Apron Strings is being discontinued (WHY?) so I snagged it and thought it would be perfect for the hives in winter when all the drones have been kicked out and it's one big sorority. Read about What Bees do in Winter
After painting them I couldn't resist adding messages for drones and mice, who can read, of course.
I wanted them to look like signs that little girls (and their queen) would put up outside a treehouse or clubhouse.
Do kids still do that?
I love projects that are nostalgic, childlike, and fun. This silly little idea made me smile.
I like to imagine the girls flying back in saying "Hey, who put up that hilarious sign out front?"
"Why didn't we think of that?"
Posted by Michelle @Pen and Hive at 12:27 PM
Labels: Beekeeping, beekeeping 101, Hive Lessons, Humor
Michelle is a beekeeper and master gardener. She writes and speaks about beekeeping, DIY projects, and how to live your best creative life.
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I love that idea! Adds a touch of fun and whimsy! Annnnddd has grandkids get older maybe they can make their "sayings" for the entrance reducersReplyDelete
Thanks! I don't know why I never thought of it before.Delete
Are your entrance reducers defintely small enough? In the UK we use ones with 10mm round holes. Just wondering as it is amazing what tiny spaces they can get through. If the head can fit through, the rest can follow.ReplyDelete
p.s. The messages are brilliant!Delete
A mouse could fit in through the hole but I have never had it happen. This is what most people here use. If I ever discover a mouse I will definitely rethink it but so far so good. Glad you like the messages!Delete