Hardware cloth size.
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2008
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    Default Hardware cloth size.

    I am finishing my second TBH. The first one has a solid bottom with vent holes. The second one I am going to put a hardware cloth bottom and a solid bottom below that on hinges. I went to our local hardware store and the smallest mesh was 1/4 inch. I bought it and after looking at it I think the mesh may be to large. Should I see if I can find smaller mesh?

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  3. #2
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Yea, I'd say you needed 1/8" mesh. #8 keeps out mice and hornets and wasps, etc, and is just the right size for beetles and mites to drop out. You'd have your board under it you could close for doing Mite counts or checking dropped debris. Sounds like a good idea to me, but I do not have any TBH. I do have 1/8 mesh wire in my bottom boards with 8 frame deeps tho, and 1/8" seems to work well.
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  4. #3
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    I would not go any larger than #7 as that's what a bee can't get through. #8 is nice.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would not go any larger than #7 as that's what a bee can't get through. #8 is nice.
    This may seem a dumb question, but where should I look for #8 hardware cloth in a big box store like Home Depot or Loew's? I was able to find 1/2" in the garden center, and aluminum window screen in the building supplies, but that was it.

    Doug

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsyr View Post
    This may seem a dumb question, but where should I look for #8 hardware cloth in a big box store like Home Depot or Loew's? I was able to find 1/2" in the garden center, and aluminum window screen in the building supplies, but that was it.

    Doug
    McMaster Carr (on-line)
    Ace Hardware (on-line)

    You can pick it up at most Ace Hardware stores or online. Or check your local hardware store. You most likely won't find it a Lowes or H. Depot.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsyr View Post
    This may seem a dumb question, but where should I look for #8 hardware cloth in a big box store like Home Depot or Loew's? I was able to find 1/2" in the garden center, and aluminum window screen in the building supplies, but that was it.

    Doug
    Bee Equipment Suppliers carry it but I ordered my #8 x 3' wide by 100' long from Idealtruevalue.com it was a lot cheaper there $118.00 plus shipping but they are in Ark. so that was not bad.

  8. #7
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    Ashland, KY, USA
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    My local "do it best"store can order 1/8 inch X 3 foot X 10 foot for $27.?? I bought the 1/4 inch for $1.00 in 6 inches X 3 foot. I might go buy another 6 inch piece and offset it by 1/8 inch to the other piece.

  9. #8
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Ideally you find one of those hardware stores that always has everything. Then you buy whatever size you like. I used to go to a hardware store in Alliance, Nebraska that had everything. I mean everything. Well, almost everything. I went all over the panhandle looking for a sheet of neoprene rubber. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Bernie asked me how thick, what color and what texture I wanted. He had red, blue and black and smooth and textured. We went in for glass blocks one day and he said there were several different kinds. Unfortunately he didn't have the ones we wanted but he had already ordered them (he ran out) and they would be in tomorrow. They were in the next day. I asked for glass eggs to put under a setting hen and he apologized and said he sold the last ones he had the month before and had been looking everywhere to find some more and had no luck. I remember the first time I went in there I was just hoping against hope that I could find the right threaded screw in the right diameter. I would have settled for too long and cut it off and I didn't care what head it had on it. When I found a hex head (like I wanted) and the right length I was tickled. As I stood at the counter to pay for it he looked at the one I brought in with me to match it and said "wouldn't you rather have a black one like the old one?". I said, "sure". So he got me one. It's amazing to be able to walk into a store and say "I need a 3/4" coarse threaded castlelated nut" and the walk right to it and ask if you'd like it in zinc or black matte finish.

    That's the kind of hardware store you want to find. And if you do you want to support it every chance you get. It is a treasure.

    But most Ace hardware stores will order you whatever you want.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
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    Terrell, Texas, USA
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    Michael, there is a store like you are describing in Golthwaite, Texas, which is unfortunately 4 1/2 hours from me. It has everthing. But the coolest thing is when you ask for that "castlelated nut" they don't look at you like you have two heads.

    Tom

  11. #10
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    Dec 2008
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Well, I went to my local small box, has every widget known to man, hardware store and picked up a roll of 1/8" mesh hardware cloth. Thanks for the tip - the window screen I have purchased looks like it is a 1/8x1/16" mesh - which might not have worked so well.

    Of course, now that I've bought a roll of 3' wide hardware cloth, I see (googling around) that I could have bought a narrow roll of galvanized soffit screen, which would have been easier to work with. Oh well - this stuff will be useful for lots of things.

    Doug

  12. #11
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Our old fashioned hardware store

    We had one just like that - right up on the town square ever since I was a kid. Right up until last year, now it sells $5 lattes down stairs and lawyers up stairs.

    It is pretty good coffee though.

  13. #12
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    Feb 2017
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    Kinston, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Hardware cloth size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would not go any larger than #7 as that's what a bee can't get through. #8 is nice.
    Michael,

    This is not exactly true either. Since about 10 different wire diameter sizes are sold in each designation of cloth (#8, #7, etc) there are cloths larger than #7 which bees cannot get through. For instance, #6-041 cloth, which is a #6 cloth cannot be passed through by bees. This is actually one of the best cloths for small hive beetle traps because it is exactly 3.2mm aperture which is the exact average size of female small hive beetles.

    Likewise there are a no #8 cloths which even allow female small hive beetles to pass through them. Female small hive beetles are larger than the males (sexually dimorphic). The largest aperture #8 sold is 0.108" which is much smaller than a female SHB. For instance if you used #8 cloth for a screened bottom board, you are actually trapping the female small hive beetles INSIDE the hive while allowing the males to get out. As a further example, if your desire is to use a hardware cloth that will allow male and female beetles out the bottom of your hive, but wont let bees through, you should be using #7-018 or #6-041 cloth because they achieve your actual goal.

    I think it is important to recommend a specific cloth by its usage, rather than applying blanket statements such as "#8 works for x purpose", because there is no such thing as "#8 cloth". there is #8-017, #8-096, etc. all of which have different apertures which make them useful for any specific purpose.

    The problem of buying it from mass sellers on Ebay or Amazon, is that most of them dont even know which aperture they are selling. They just blanket call it #8 and sell it. The smallest #8 aperture sold is #8-047 cloth which has an aperture of 0.078" which wont let just about anything including air through! Let alone small hive beetles. If you dont know the aperture you are buying, it's a complete crapshoot whether or not it works for what you actually need it to do.

    Anyway, we actually sell cloths based on accurate aperture ratings which are needed for beekeeping, like pollen traps, screened bottoms, SHB traps, etc. on our website for usually the same or cheaper than you can find the right cloth on Amazon or Ebay for.
    Last edited by FunnyBugBees; 08-21-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Hardware cloth size.

    Things have certainly changed in regards to things like hardware cloth. In my life I have never seen any at the hardware store where there was any choice on the size of wire. It was what it was and I have no idea what the wire size was. But I know what can get through it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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