I went to check my hives at Frogmore Farm at Toller Porcorum.  I was worried by all the dead badgers I see at the roadside as there is a massive sett, big enough to lose half a class of school kids in, only 50 yards from the apiary.  Last year I had a hive badgered there: overturned and with a trail of frames leading down the badger track and so I made sure the wire mesh fence was pegged down to the ground and the edge concealed with a bit of old carpet.

That seems, so far, to have worked but I was disappointed to see a stack of wax debris outside one of the hives and no bees flying. They had been moused!  This was a swarm that had hived itself in a stack of old kit and, as they seemed to be doing well, I didn’t disturb them too much and hadn’t realised that the floor was rotten, giving easy access to mice.  The hive next door, however, was bringing in pollen at about 6 degrees C.

So far this winter I have lost 2 hives to horses, one to sheep and now this one to mice. Never mind the mites: it’s the mammals that are the problem!

The badgers remind me that I once rang the office when I was up to the armpits in a badger sett!  It was on a footpath and was concealed with bracken so I wasn’t aware of it until my rapid descent.


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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