This morning's task in the Beelandia apiary was to clean out the egg carton winter insulation I had placed on both sides of the follower boards in the top bar hive, Plan Bee... . As you may remember, this hive had an unwanted guest this winter, a mouse which daughter Eme has affectionately named Bee Bait. You can imagine the mess I found on one side of the colony: chewed up egg cartons and newspaper, mouse feces, etc. And, of course, as I dug further into the debris, I eventually found Bee Bait, fully alive in all his/her furry brown splendor.
Immediately, Bee Bait tried to hide in the remaining paper mess but I persisted up until the mouse decided to take off underneath the follower board and into the colony. I tried to follow but the bees would have none of it. Bee Bait's visit whipped them into a frenzy (i.e. one sting, so I backed off and simply continued to clean up the egg carton mess as best I could, making sure there was no place for the mouse to nest. When the bees calm down, I shall return.