Going into the winter, beekeepers place an entrance reducer on colonies to reduce robbing and also prevent other animals and insects from entering the hive. The entrance reducer is used to decrease the size of the entrance; it also gives the bees a smaller area to defend. Two common pests to deadout colonies are mice and chipmunks (in Pennsylvania). A mouse can chew drawn comb to nothing but bits and pull debris into the hive to make nests. The chipmunks use hive bodies as storage places to protect their food from the weather as shown in the image below. Using an entrance reducer can limit destruction by these pests. Also checking bees in the winter and removing deadout colonies will reduce pest infestations. If you let deadout hives sit for periods of time, unwanted inhabitants may move in. There is an image of a garter snake inside one of my hives below.
Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) is responsible for all source data and holds the copyright for all information presented here. All of the results generated by BIP and published here represent an unbiased assessment of any product or process, and BIP results are not endorsements of commercial products, protocols, or services. Unless stated otherwise, BIP supports the reproduction and reuse of these results, publications and figures for scientific and educational purposes, at no cost, provided that BIP’s ownership, copyright and non-endorsement status are acknowledged. When citing any of the information, figures, or other material sourced from the BIP website, unless it has been published elsewhere as a journal article, please also include in your citation: the year published (when available), title, web address and date obtained.