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Thread: Mouse Guards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default Mouse Guards

    It's about that time in Portland, Oregon to get mouse guards on to hives. I lost a couple Warre hives a few years ago because I forgot to get guards on. When I went to check them the next spring I found this:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...t=embedwebsite

    Previously I've just used 3/8" hardware cloth stapled over the entrances. This works totally fine and is very inexpensive! But due to the overwhelming number of requests, we've begun producing stainless steel mouse guards if you're interested.

    Best,
    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    Well I just put a bunch of nails in my entrance reducer. Figured that'd keep the mice out. Thus far I have found mice in the insulation of my TBHs, but nowhere else. Then again it's not spring yet either.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    I think 1/2" hardware cloth might be a better option, mice still can't get through but it gives the bees more room to get through to clean house of dead bees. If I am wrong about the mice not getting through 1/2" please let me know, because that's what I plan to use this year. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    do the bees keep them out in the summer? or do they just have better places to live?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    I think in the summer there are enough bees, and the weather is warm enough that they can easily break cluster and keep any mice at bay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    I have seen some pretty small holes that apparently let the beasties in. Maybe they were skinny teenagers but they grow up quick! 1/2" may be taking somewhat of a chance. Like Bush 84 I drive small finishing nails on 5/16" centers up through the entrance notch and nip them off about 1/8" short of coming right down to the landing board. The bees are managing to drag the drones and corpses out OK. Sometimes a drone grabs onto a nail and hangs on a bit till another bee bits his fingers!.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    IMG_4719A.jpg
    I started out using two layers of 1/2 in. screens (slightly offset), placed it over the bottom entrance and screwed a board above the entrance and into the hive body. I was going to add an awning over the whole thing to keep the snow from landing on the entrance but I decided to to screw another board over the first board to turn it into a modified telescoping cover. So far, the bees have no problem going in and out of the entrance. I hope it works well come winter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,138

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    Back when I had bottom entrances and needed mouse guards, I used 1/4" hardware cloth.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    If I remember correctly, I tried using a 1/4" hardware cloth when I was trying to make a queen includer for my hive's front entrance (Warre hive - to prevent my package of bees from absconding). The problem was the drones had a very difficult time getting through it. That is why I chose to use two layers of 1/2" hardware cloth (offset) to use as a mouse trap instead.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    If I remember correctly, I tried using a 1/4" hardware cloth when I was trying to make a queen includer for my hive's front entrance (Warre hive - to prevent my package of bees from absconding). The problem was the drones had a very difficult time getting through it. That is why I chose to use two layers of 1/2" hardware cloth (offset) to use as a mouse trap instead.
    But there are no drones during winter, so no worries using 1/4" hardware cloth.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    I keep thinking that the hives being higher up would solve a lot of problems. Keep the mice out, keep the hive beetles out. make is harder for the mites to crawl back in after they fall out. Ants, etc. What do you all think?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    To Zonker,

    I think even with higher stands, ants, mice and SHB would still be able to access the hive. I've read of ants climbing onto a shrub or tree and dropping onto the hive if there are barriers on the hive stand legs. Mice are very agile and adult SHB can fly in.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    I lost a couple Warre hives a few years ago because I forgot to get guards on.
    I thought mice typically just did a bit of comb damage - how come the entire hive was lost?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Mouse Guards

    cpm,

    They did far more than just a little comb damage. Both colonies had their entrances completely sealed with debris that the mice had gathered and brought into the hive to create their nest. There were at least half a dozen mice in each hive (they'd given birth). They ate through most of the comb in the hives. I think one of the colonies barely survived.

    Matt

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