It’s the dead of winter here in the Pacific Northwest (Oak Grove, Oregon), and the bees are buckled down waiting eagerly for the arrival of spring 2010. On Tuesday there was a freak snowstorm that brought our city to a standstill, but the bees perservered in their Warre hives as well as their horizontal top bar hives. Here’s a picture of our backyard with two horizontal top bar hives, two Warre hives and the natural stump hive that is currently vacant.

Today my wife and I stopped by two Warre hives at Sokol Blosser Winery that we hadn’t visited for months.

The good news: The bees are alive and the hives are heavy.

The bad news: Both hives had mice take up residence in the bottom box.

Thankfully it was caught before the mice completely decimated the hives and I was able to remove the mice, their nests and the smelly mess they left. After that I added 1/4″ hardware cloth to the entrance to keep the mice from returning. Hopefully both hives will overcome.

The mouse nest:

We’ve had 3 hive orders in the past two days: a great start for the 2010 year at Bee Thinking, and we look forward to preparing hives for the Spring Rush. Again, if you are looking to get a horizontal top bar hive or Warre hive in 2010, please get your orders in soon!

Happy New Year!

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