Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Question Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    I have been making nucs this year and using robber screens as a precaution because they are so close to one another. I used #8 screen. The size of the alternate exit is one inch wide. They seem to be taking a lot of time to figure them out. Three days on one and still a traffic jam getting out.

    Thanks,
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    I use #8 also, but that's what I had.... Don't want to go much bigger, and for ventilation, prob don't wanna go too small.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Be patient, they will get it. I have mine designed so I can start with a wider entrance, then gradually throttle it down. But I have slapped tightly-restricted robber screens on hives in the midst of a major attack, when everything was topsy-turvy. The bees will work it out.

    Nancy

  5. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Thanks for the replies.

    RedBarn, I used #8, because that is what I had, as well.

    enj, patience isn't always easy for me when trying to get something or someone to cooperate, especially when it is for their own good. LOL But, I persevered and left them on today. It looks as though they are beginning to get it.

    I think I will start with a bigger opening next time.

    Thanks again.
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    I have screened bottom boards with beetle traps in so my hives don't actually beard that much. Would using standard window screens on the robber screen work ok or is that too small? It seems fine to me but figured I'd check before I made them

  7. #6
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    BRB, It will work, but won't last as long. They can chew through it much faster than #8 hardware cloth.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    BRB, It will work, but won't last as long. They can chew through it much faster than #8 hardware cloth.
    Understood, hadn't thought of that. thanks!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Thanks to Michael Bush, here the "what hardware cloth to use"

    #8 - no bee can pass. pollen gets stuck.
    #7 - as long as there are no bent wires, no bee can pass. Pollen falls through. Good for the bottom of a pollen trap to let the pollen fall into the tray.
    #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. Good for a pollen trap to force the workers through.
    #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)
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default

    That's some good info there. Thank you for posting it and thank you Michael Bush

  11. #10
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,550

    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
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    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    I use #10 hardware cloth same as used on package bees ( good way to recycle those packages ). I've found it makes it difficult for shb to easily enter a hive. I use the same screen to screen the hand hole in the inner cover for the same purpose and haven't lost a nuc or a hive to shb in a long time.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    I use #8 because that's what I have laying around. I make my robbing screens open at the top just like the UC Davis design. I've never had one with one of those robbed yet.

    UC Davis Design

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Does size of mesh matter for robber screens?

    Here is what I ended up making. Found a screen door at Habitat for Humanity for $2 that was actual metal mesh so i wrapped it around the outside of an old wooden frame and stapled it. Cut a 1 inch gap at the top and put it against the hive and tacked it in. The bees have the 1 inch hole on top and can come and go from behind the screen at the corners too. Seems to be working good but haven't had a lot of bees headbutting the mesh either so hopefully any would-be robbers were tricked.

    20180720_065526.jpg

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