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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    546

    Default Size mesh to block queen

    Have some 1/4 galvanized hardware cloth that I used to cover the bottom of my top bar hives.

    Is this mesh small enough to work as a queen excluder if I was interested in using it. I know some bees can go through, just not sure about all. (Playing with a feral hive to see if they could get through it to a small dish of honey).

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    I think 1/4" will stop a queen, workers have a little bit of a tought time getting through. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lutz, FL, USA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    1/4" cloth doesn't restrict honeybees generally speaking. #5 cloth is suggested for use as queen excluder. Now, keep in mind that it also may depend of your bee's genetics (their size) and the queen size. But as a general rule #5 would be the one to use. Another thing to consider is that wire size can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. If you have cloth with four wires per inch and your bees have hard time getting through, it might be because the wire is pretty thick and openings are more typical for a finer size hardware cloth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,066

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    I think 1/4 hardware cloth is a restriction because it is square. Yes most of the bees can get through but not as well as if the mesh was 1/4 by 1/2 for instance like an excluder. I believe the hardware cloth will slow the bees down.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    I'm sorry, I was wrong about the size, I meant to say #5 as Artsmart said. I was thinking that #5 is the one they use in pollen traps and that would be the best size. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    Actually Acebird, my thinking is that a perfectly square opening is easier for the bees to get through as opposed to a round hole the same width, because the diagonal measurement from corner to corner is longer than, say, 1/4" therefore the bees can get their legs and body through on the diagonal better, if you follow what I mean. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,066

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    I do follow what you mean but a rectangle 1/4 by 1/2 similar to an excluder is even better.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    >Is this mesh small enough to work as a queen excluder

    No. #5 is.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#hopkinsmethod
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,066

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    Michael, are you saying 1/4 is to large?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    #8 - no bee can pass. pollen gets stuck.
    #7 - as long as there are no bent wires, no bee can pass. Pollen falls through
    #6 - worker bees can squeeze through (and will) but they have to wiggle and squirm a lot. Drones and queens cannot.
    #5 - worker bees can squeeze through easily but lose some of their pollen. Queens and drones cannot.
    #4 - all bees can pass (workers, drones and queens). The workers sometimes lose some of their pollen when they catch their basket on the wire. (mice cannot and this makes a nice mouse guard)
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,066

    Default Re: Size mesh to block queen

    Thanks Michael.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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