Author Topic: Bee Legs And Abdomens  (Read 214 times)

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Offline Jen

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Bee Legs And Abdomens
« on: January 04, 2020, 12:37:05 am »
I have the kind of bottom boards where you can check for mites with a pull-out tray. Today, one of my colonies had about 300 bee legs and about 50 abdomens. Abdomens fresh, no heads or thoraxes. Adult bees. Worker bees not drones.

Bees properly treated with OA vapor this fall, and there is a candy board on the hive.

I understand bee die off in the winter, but I'm not getting all the dismemberment.
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Online neillsayers

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 02:42:16 pm »
I woud've guessed the abdomens would not get through the screen.
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Offline troutdog

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 08:18:43 am »
I woud've guessed the abdomens would not get through the screen.
Big screen or tiny bees
Dismemberment as described is from volves or shrews.

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Offline Riverrat

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2020, 09:37:54 pm »
My thoughts would be hygienic bees removing dead bees from hive some parts are falling down to where they can't get them to remove
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Offline MudSongs

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 01:28:08 pm »
I've got some photos and descriptions of shrews getting into my hives here:

https://mudsongs.org/winter-mouse-proof-mesh/

It sounds like you might have a shrew or shrews picking away at your winter bees.  Shrews can get through 3/8-inch mouse guards.  I haven't had shrews in my hives for a while, but my policy is, if I see signs of shrews in a hive, I tear the hive apart and rebuild it -- even if it's snowing.  Otherwise, the shrew(s) will gradually pick one bee at a time from the cluster until the colony is essentially dead.  Shrews are the worst thing I've experienced in my beekeeping so far.  More deadly than mice, as far as I can tell.

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Offline iddee

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 02:52:12 pm »
You say in your post that shrews can go through 3/8 hardware cloth, but on your website you are using 1/2 inch. Here, we have very few shrews, but 3/8 hardware cloth will prevent mice, but 1/2 in. will not. Our mice will go through the 1/2 inch.
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Offline MudSongs

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 03:30:28 pm »
On my website, I say shrews can get through 3/8-inch metal mouse guards.  The photo shows half-inch mesh.  They can obviously get through that too, though that I've never had mice get past the half-inch mesh.

Half-inch mesh worked fine for me until I moved to an area where shrews were rampant.  Now I use quarter-inch mesh.  It gets a little clogged up at times, but it keeps everything out.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 03:37:02 pm »
There may be a difference in the strain of mice we have and those that you have. I was just letting others know that some micewill go through 1/2 inch. I have had it happen several times.  Lots of difference in Newfoundland and North Carolina.
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Offline MudSongs

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 04:35:12 pm »
No worries.  It's all good.  My only point was that I've heard from other beekeepers that shrews do at times get through the standard commercial metal mouse guards.

When I first used half-inch mesh for mouse-proofing, I did it because I saw Michael Palmer do it in Vermont.  But he bends the mesh through the bottom entrance to make it smaller so mice can't get through it.  Then I met a local beekeeper who told me half-inch mesh attached straight on works fine.  And it did for a few years until I encountered shrews.

To bring us back to the original topic of this thread, body parts, wings, legs, hollowed out abdomens --- those are excellent signs of shrew predation in my experience.
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 08:21:09 pm »
Mudding,
How are your bee's doing ?
Don't know what season your are in.

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 08:30:09 pm »
Isn't a shrew a mole-vole ?

Offline MudSongs

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 07:49:24 am »
Mudding,
How are your bee's doing ?
Don't know what season your are in.

As far as I can tell, my bees are in good shape.  I only keep 10 colonies, 2-deep hives.  Most of them are clustering way down deep in their hives with a full deep on honey up top.  I'm happy.  Freezing weather where I live now.  -15°C / 5°F has be typical for the past couple of weeks.  My hives are painted black but not wrapped, so it should be interesting.
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Offline MudSongs

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 07:52:28 am »
Isn't a shrew a mole-vole ?

They're all different.  Here's a good breakdown that shows the differences between moles, voles and shrews.

https://www.jcehrlich.com/other-wildlife/differences-between-moles-voles-shrews/
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Offline Jen

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Re: Bee Legs And Abdomens
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 05:58:17 pm »
Is it the same kind of bee raid with shrews, moles and voles?
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