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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
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    93

    Question Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam???

    Hello all!

    I am in zone 7a, just to get that out of the way

    It has been really cool some nights here lately, I think winter is coming early.

    Anyway, I installed mouse guards on both hives. They are the ones from Dadant, and have the holes, ect.

    However, it looks like a MAJOR traffic jam going on, and some look like they are having a hard time figuring it all out.

    Do I leave them on? Or do I take them off and put them back in later on in the year?????

    Please help!! They are doing so good, I don't want to mess up! But I don't want any mice going in there either!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Leave em on. They will figure it out.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Keth - based on what? Not arguing. This is just a question I've never really gotten answered - when the heck do I put them on? We've been getting 50ish nights but up to 90 in the day. What is my guide? Around here they just seem to wait for a date.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Bees start to cluster when the temperatures are on the average around 50 degrees, this would be a good time to install mouse guards, it would be a sorry mouse that would enter a hive this time of the year with temperatures above 50. My hives are still very active and I will be waiting to place mine on at a later date, I do not want to impede traffic.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Think of a feral hive in a tree with a three square inch entrance. They seem to do fine all year with that size. Personally I think you could leave mouse guards on all year and the bees would be fine. It is the human condition to try and out think the bees and make their life "better" by opening the entrance during the summer. I put them on after I treat with MAQS in August and leave them till spring. Do I need them always?? No. Could I leave them on all year long and not worry? Yes. Probably should do that but I try to out think the bees and what they need and as a result I manipulate more than is probably needed.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    For all you Psych students... There is a name for that "out-thinking" - it is called Theory of Mind. The way humans rationalize what someone or something else wants or needs by empathizing themselves in that person or creature's place. I think we are all guilty of it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    For all you Psych students... There is a name for that "out-thinking" - it is called Theory of Mind. The way humans rationalize what someone or something else wants or needs by empathizing themselves in that person or creature's place. I think we are all guilty of it.
    Paul, this is very true. I do this for ALL my critters, and I am very guilty of this with my bees especially. I am very guilty of going out there and sitting by the water fountain they drink from and feed them bits of honey!

    I think of them as little people! If they need/want it, they get it

    I read a little more on mouse guards, and I wouldn't want to wait too long, and have a mouse in there, and it get stuck in there all winter. I just hope by putting them on this early, and some days getting up to 80 or less, that I am not harming them in any way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,540

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Probably a good time for mouse guards is when the local grain crops are harvested. Once the nice supply of free food gets removed, the mice will start looking for goodies like honey and brood (or the pantry in your house). If we do not have cats, we get invaded by mice just after the corn and soybeans are combined, which is about now.

    Mice explore and mark places to hide for winter and return later, you want to discourage them early.

    I have my hives up on metal stands, which seems to reduce the mouse issue -- they have trouble climbing the smooth painted legs. Rough material or rust, and up they go, they are good climbers.

    A standard entrance reducer will keep them out as well so long as it's only 3/8" deep at the opening, but mice can chew through a wooden reducer.

    Peter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Buy a cat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmidwest View Post
    Buy a cat.

    No thanks, they destroy vehicles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    I use the wooden entrance reducers and choke them down to a 3/8" by 3" or so slot in August to curb robbing. After the first hard frost I'll turn this around to the small hole to keep the mice out. You're okay to leave the mouse guards off until the first frost.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Virginia
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Reading this post, I am not sure what to do. Take them off, or leave them on. I feel like they are annoyed with the small entrance, so I want to take them off. Then again, I don't want a mouse to sneak up in there, and me seal him up! What to do?????

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Either way you want to go is fine. It's a matter of preference. This time of year the bees will not bring in much anyway so a bottleneck at the entrance won't slow down production.

    You are right that leaving them on will prevent mice from getting in there. On the other hand I always do a quick inspection of the brood box (usually just tip it up to take a quick look) to make sure there are no mice inside when I close it up for the winter. It truly is a matter of preference.

    The greater danger to my hives this time of the year are wax moths, hive beetles, robbing by other honey bees, and yellow jackets. This is what I focus on and why I close down the entrance to make a smaller space to guard.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Bees4us, The bee book I got from our course says early fall. I don't have mine on yet but I have been on the wavelength of what others have posted already. I use 1/4 inch hardware mesh so if a mouse goes in before I put the screen on on it would be in trouble during the warm part of the day apparently because the bees would sting it. I haven't actually had a mouse in a hive yet luckily and I have been rather permitting with leaving the entrances at 3/8s till the first frost. With bees piling up at the entrance I would think we are still ok but it is getting close. We have cats too that is probably helping.


    Here's a free link to our course manual. Plenty of good info in it and it covers this mouseguard subject. It's tough to believe it's almost winter.

    Hope this helps.

    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/agrs93.pdf

    little bee.jpg

    small cat.jpg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    VW - thanks for sharing the link! I'll def take a look.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    For all you Psych students... There is a name for that "out-thinking" - it is called Theory of Mind. The way humans rationalize what someone or something else wants or needs by empathizing themselves in that person or creature's place. I think we are all guilty of it.
    It is very similar to anthropomorphic error - attributing human thoughts, feelings and motives to animals.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Is it better to use the mouse guards or just use the entrance reducer on the smallest setting? Can a mouse get in the small setting?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,337

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Leonard, I have heard but I cannot confirm that a mouse can squeeze through a 1/4" high opening if it has enough width to let the mouse flatten out, I use a 1/2" square wire mesh; My wife keeps her chickens near my hives which attract mice and rats however I have never had mice get into my hives.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Thanks Bill! I will remove the reducers and use wire mesh or mouse guards.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,887

    Default Re: Is it time for mouse guards? I have mine on, and it looks like major traffic jam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    Think of a feral hive in a tree with a three square inch entrance. They seem to do fine all year with that size. Personally I think you could leave mouse guards on all year and the bees would be fine.
    My observations of feral hives in trees is that they have a much smaller population than a production hive. Probably since the space inside is much smaller. I like my bees to be able to fly at will until the first frost. That's when I put my mouse guards [1/2" hardware cloth] on.

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