skip page navigationOregon State University
Oregon State University
Insect ID Clinic


Honey Bee Diagnostic Services

Mice and Rodents

Causative Agent: Mice, rats, & shrews

Range: Worldwide

Life cycle:

  • A healthy hive should be able to fend off these pests.
  • During the winter when the bees cluster, the opening to the hive is often unprotected and rodents can enter the nest unchallenged.


  • In the fall, fit your hives with wire, cleats, or commercially made mouse guards. The top of the hive should be cracked or an exit hole should be provided so bees are not trapped inside the nest during winter due to the accumulation of dead bees on the bottom.
  • Mowing around your hives or placing them in open areas (on gravel, pavement or plastic) will deter mice from coming near the hive.
  • If wintering bees in a structure (warehouse, basement, etc.) blocking all entrances into the hive with ¼ mesh and set up rodent traps can help protect the colonies.


Other Useful Sites:

References used:

Root, A. I. (1990) The ABC & XYZ of bee culture 40 th ed. A.I Root Co. Medina, OH.

Printable pdf version



April 3, 2008