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Thread: Mouse guard

  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Mouse guard

    Picked up a couple of these as I thought they would make a good mouse guard and a entrance reducer for winter . On my hives they leave eight 3/8 dia. holes open and off to the side a little . After seeing them I'm wondering if there not a good choice , how will the bees get the dead ones out . Has anyone used them without problems . http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=212

  2. #2
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    McClure, OH
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    3/8 is a bee space or 2 bee widths. They will haul them out fine whenever it's warm enough for that.

  3. #3
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    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    After seeing them I'm wondering if there not a good choice
    I like the ones from Mann Lake
    They extend through the whole entrance, so you can decide how many holes to be exposed and cover the rest. Larger hives get more holes open. Smaller ones a few. Remember ventilation requirements depend on how many bees are inside.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    Durango, Colorado
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    On this topic, I'm wondering how big of a space should be available for the bees this time of year. The weather here in SW CO is up (50's-70's) and down (20's-30's) at night.

    All of my hives are pretty full 2-deeps right now - tons of bees. They all have upper entrances and the lowers on the smallest setting - about an inch wide - with mouse guards leaving only two holes.

    All have quilt boxes and moisture boards.

    I am feeding until they stop taking it, so want to not leave too much space for robbers.
    Good, bad - what?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    SunnyR, If you have highs in 70's no need to put mouse guards in. Bees are still flying, they will take care of any mouse that sneaks at night. I won't put mouse guards until daytime temps are consistently below 50's. If your hives are strong no need to reduce entrance even if you are feeding. They know how to defend from robbers. Their strength is in the numbers.

    I normally change the size of the opening depending on hive strength and time of the year. I like to keep them open more than some beekeepers that I know. The reason is that I believe in proper ventilation of the hive leads to its survival. But there is a secret. All my hives have slatted racks. I believe that they are an important part of over wintering on northern climates.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    1007131344.jpg
    1007131342.jpg

    1/4" (#4) hardware cloth. I did remove two verticals to help get the drones evicted. Bees seem to appreiciate it. lol

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Durango, Colorado
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    The issue with the weather here in SW CO is it is maddeningly inconsistent. I don't want to change up their settings the day of snow and ice...rather would like to give them a couple of days to adjust to the new setting in the entrance. Last year I waited too long and several bees struggled to find their way back inside and froze/ got wet in the snow.

    We are in the 60-70's by day, 30-40's at night. Mid-week, we are expected to get snow and the weather drops into the 40's by day and 20's by night, then back up to the 60-70's by day, 30-40's at night by the end of the week.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    WillH ,Do you make your own racks or purchase them, I'm having a hard time finding decent plans for them . Is the main asset to a rack keeping the bees a little further away from the cold air in the winter and also help with bearding in the summer .

  9. #9
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    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    I buy them from Mann Lake as they come assembled. Brushy has them for $4 less but unassembled. And if you are buying a bunch, Mann Lake gives you free shipping so price will be the same.

    In his popular book "Hive Management" Richard Bonney describes slatted rack as follows:

    "Its purpose is at least twofold. It gives additional cluster space in the hive, helping to reduce the sense of congestion in a busy hive and improving the ventilation. Because of the wide
    board built into the front end of the slatted rack, it also provides a buffer between the entrance and the lower brood frames, which helps to overcome the reluctance of some queens to lay in brood comb that is close to the entrance. A further benefit that I have seen is that it also seems to help the bees to keep a cleaner hive."

    For my experience it reduces bearding in the summer and protects hive from cold drafts in the winter. I have compared hives with and without them, and noticed that hives with slatted racks have more bees and perform better even in honey production, possibly because of less congestion. It is most useful in the winter though.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    I'm tempted to try them but haven't heard of many beekeepers using them . Wonder if anyone has done any tests to see if hives do better with them on ,anyone else using them .

  11. #11
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    Jun 2010
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    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    From an article found right here on Beesource:

    "Beekeepers are notoriously slow in accepting new ideas, they still live in the horse and buggy days as far as their bee equipment goes, yet for their personal comfort they expect the latest gimmicks in their automobiles and trucks.

    This-easy-to-use slatted rack ends once and for all poor ventilation and excess moisture. It is up to the beekeepers now to discover for themselves a whole new phase in beekeeping."

    Read the whole article here
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  12. #12
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    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    WillH , What kind of upper entrance are you using for ventilation , wondering if my inner cover with notch down is enough ventilation for winter .

    Thanks for the link

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    You're welcome.

    I use inner cover with notch down for upper entrance and ventilation. You can also put a penny on both sides of the inner cover to raise it a bit that will also enhance escape space for moisture. I never had a problem with that set up.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Mouse guard

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyR2000 View Post
    The issue with the weather here in SW CO is it is maddeningly inconsistent. I don't want to change up their settings the day of snow and ice...rather would like to give them a couple of days to adjust to the new setting in the entrance. Last year I waited too long and several bees struggled to find their way back inside and froze/ got wet in the snow.

    We are in the 60-70's by day, 30-40's at night. Mid-week, we are expected to get snow and the weather drops into the 40's by day and 20's by night, then back up to the 60-70's by day, 30-40's at night by the end of the week.
    I guess you can install the mouse guards but can leave at least 5 holes open to allow them to fly freely without having to compete to get in to hive.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durango, Colorado
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    161

    Default Re: Mouse guard

    It cold and snowy - the bees are tucked in for now. Tomorrow's forecast in the 60's! geez...

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