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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Had anybody made their own? The discs that Mann lake is coming out with look pretty expensive. I live near there so I get all my gear with them. So I figured I could probably make my own. I took some scrap Luan that I had laying around and simply drilled a bunch of 1/8th inch holes in the shape of the nuc entrance. It is in the shape of a rectangle. One side has the vent holes and the other is untouched. I used a nail as a pivot on the untouched side so I can spin it from wide open to vented shut or anywhere in between. I figured that I didn't really need any of the other settings since I would only really use them to reduce the entrance and shut the entrance.

    So my question is how well do you think these will hold up? I have plenty of other scrap if some thicker wood would help. Would this be anywhere effective against a determined mouse in the fall? I am not sure if any of my tools besides a tin snips is rated for metal. I remember reading once in the warre book that he used old soup cans or something. Anybody do that?

    Edit-In relation to the mouse thing...my current version doesnt have a mouse guard setting but the next would. I asked the question without giving you the why. I suppose I could just keep what I have and put screen over them in the winter. Either way would the bees chew through this stuff?
    Last edited by Bush_84; 02-11-2013 at 04:56 PM.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I was going to suggest a soup can. I made a few this winter, I just haven't installed them yet. I imagine they will work just as well (I can't see why they wouldn't). I actually used a canned tomato can though, because they're bigger and it wasn't as tight a fit over the nuc entrances.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Rochester, New York, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Personally I subscribe to the thought process of if I can make it for cheeper I will at least try. Take your tin snips and cut a circle. Metal drill bits are cheep and you can even use a wood one if you go slow. Get a door or paddle bit for the large hole and if you want to make some slits if you have a table saw that you can raise and lower ther blade, clamp the metal to the table saw and slowly rise the blade to the size slits you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I think that you'll find luan will delaminate and fall apart pretty quickly when exposed to the elements.
    The 2012 Kelley catalog has metals entrance discs for less than $2, and plastic ones for 50 cents on page 49.
    (The metal ones cost less, you only have to buy them once.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    The cost of added wear (shortened useful life) from abusing wood tools on metal will quickly exceed the pennies one saves making the part instead of buying it.

    If you decide to do so anyway, don't forget to deburr the edges of all your cuts and holes so that the bees' exoskeleton isn't injured/penetrated the sharp edges of the burrs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Ya that makes sense. What if I just used these to seal off the entrance for moving and reducing the entrance? I could make these out of scrap pine instead of plywood. I guess I just need something that can seal off the entrance while still allowing ventilation and to reduce the entrance.

    Since we are talking ventilation, if I drill vent holes in my nucs will window screen hold up? Or will bees chew through that?
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,575

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I prefer the brushy disk, but it is too pricey. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...uctinfo/676DE/

    This year I'm trying these from Kelley: 2" plastic disc entry is especially useful on nucs. Product Code: 279-DP 50 cents https://kelleybees.com/Products/Deta...3339&grouped=1 Use the pull-down menu.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    i wouldn't trust the fiberglass screens, but steel/aluminum would probably work. I say this with no working knowlege of it. 1/8" hardware cloth is a sure bet though. i could not find the 1/8" at lowes, home depot, menards..etc. Ace hardware did have it, but i had to go to the window/screen repair area and ask for it. they didn;t aheva full roll on the sales floor. This was okay by me as I have no need for an entire roll.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I like the metal disc entrances from Kelley. I will buy more once my free stash runs out. Another local beek bought them and didn't like them.

    I also use duct tape. I have had some on a nuc this winter and the snow and wind haven't gotten it to fall off yet. It is easy to make the entrance any size you want.

    Tom

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    Since we are talking ventilation, if I drill vent holes in my nucs will window screen hold up? Or will bees chew through that?
    If you use metal screen they won't chew it. Some other materials, they do.

    I've used window screen for robbing and moving screes quite successfully.

    If you use it to cover a permanent vent, the bees will propolize it if they think it is too much ventilation.

    That can be a benefit or a disadvantage, depending on whether think you you know better than they do how much they need.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I make closure disks out of can tops. They are either closed, open or vent - no queen excluder. If you only need a few, then buy cans of pineapple. They have zinc plated cans, and they'll last longer in the weather. I use them for swarm trap entrances.

    Adam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I have struggled with buying the plastic entrance disks from betterbee. I used to just staple a screen under the entrance hole then fold it up and staple to close them in, it was a pain to pop the staple without ruining the screen. I make 100 - 200 nucs per year so when I started looking at how much time I spent bending over to fool with the screens( and how sore my back was after checking nucs for a day), I paid for the plastic discs and haven't regretted the choice it's just hard spending $250.00 for 100 discs. One of the entances on the disk is supposed to keep adult beetles out. I'll check Kelly's book to see what they have.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Make sure the disc is screwed down snug enough so that it won't spin easily, especially if the entrance will be at the bottom of the disc. Cutting a hole in one side and having a solid area opposite it will create an unbalanced condition. With a loosely attached disc and the entrance hole at the bottom vibration of the hive could eventually cause the heavier solid side to rotate toward the bottom and close the entrance. It would be bad to come back in a week to a closed up box. Simply making sure the disc is snug should be good enough, I would think.

    Just a thought,
    Ed

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    Had anybody made their own? The discs that Mann lake is coming out with look pretty expensive. <snip>
    But, if they are like the ones from Kelleys they are very heavy gauge and will last your lifetime (if you don't lose them). The Kelley ones are nice...both the small and large ones.

    <snip>I used a nail as a pivot on the untouched side so I can spin it from wide open to vented shut or anywhere in between.
    Kelleys uses a short bolt and wingnut to make tightening easy and secure. A nail might loosen up some.

    <snip> I remember reading once in the warre book that he used old soup cans or something. Anybody do that?
    Tin can lids should word fine just file the edges smooth...I would think they would last for several seasons especially if painted to cover the edges a little. Something else to look at that is easy to work with are rigid plastics...old busted platic garbage cans, scrap vinyl siding (aluminum would be easy to work with, too), even milk jugs though they would be pretty thin and more or less a single-season item, etc.,. One piece of siding could yield a lifetime of discs.

    Ed

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,068

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    What i have done is to make two entrance holes (each end) screen one and use a simple pivoting rectangle of wood as a reducer/closure on the other.

    Alternatively drill 1 1/8" holes for entrances and then you can use the cap from a standard plastic water bottle to cork it up. Cut a triangular hole in a cap with your pocket knife (or or a hot nail head or use a spent cartridge case to punch a hole) and you can use it as a reducer. It also happens to be a pretty good size for a nuc entrance.

    I've made entrance discs before, and I agree with the previous posters - when you consider what they cost to buy and how much work they are to make, unless you are really strapped or just want to fiddle around - buying makes sense.

    Also, if you do use any kind of power tool on a small piece of metal such as a can lid, don't try to manually hold it down - clamp it securely - or you will likely have an opportunity to be posting pictures of your injuries.
    Last edited by David LaFerney; 02-12-2013 at 07:26 AM. Reason: I just can't stop myself.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    The metal discs from Walt Kelly are great. I couldn't make them myself for their price without burning through a lot of bits and blades.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I use 1/8 hard ware cloth (left over from SBB). I cut a 3x3 squares and duct tape the sides. When I get where I am going I peel it off and stick it inside my 5 gallon bucket that carries all my junk. I can reuse a few time before I replace the duct tape.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Make Nuc Entrance Disc

    I've made robbing screens for a nuc of the same type as this:

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ctinfo/254MRS/

    If I have to move the Nuc, I duct tape it to sides. If there is robbing going on, I can shut it down quickly and keep the ventilation. Then in the morning or at night I open the top entrance and the home bees switch to this exit.

    They are pretty easy to make with 1x2s and some regular screen. I would probably buy if I could find the nuc size online somewhere.

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