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Dear Beekeepers,
What is your opinion of metal mouse guards and the use of them as entrance reducers to keep out robbers and, possibly, as a deterrent to small hive beetles? Also, do they get hot enough in the summer sun to harm the bees?
Thank you!!!
 

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We use them only in the winter months to prevent rodents while still allowing the bees to have access in and out on nice days. They come off in the spring and are replaced by robber screens once honey production starts with viggor. I'm not sure there would be any effect relative to small hive beetles, but I'm only the assistant Beek here.
 

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I reduce my mouse guards down in the winter, but I suspect you are better off with an entrance reducer during the summer. With a mouse guard it is harder for the housekeeping bees to haul out dead bees and trash.
 

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I think the secret to not having a problem with mice is to keep the grass low around the hives. Many of the items sold by supply stores are like fishing lures, they are made to catch fishermen and not fish.
 

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I missed putting them on one hive one winter and found a dead mouse that spring in the bottom. I had on old metal shelving unit that was damage so I cut the corner pieces to fit and used them. The holes used to mount the shelves were perfect size for the bees to get in and out. And completely free, since it would have went to the trash if not reused.
 

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Mouse guards are necessary in cold weather climates, maybe not so much where you are. I place mine in the Fall and just took them off yesterday. When its cold, especially in the winter, a mouse can live in the hive unmolested because the bees are clustered and leave the entrance and bottom box undefended. J
 

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I neglected to say that I do not think mouse guards provide a good deterrent to robbing. Buy or make a robber screen that has both an opening on the top and one at the bottom that is adjustable. It is more difficult for the undertakers to take out the dead, but they get the job done. I keep the bottom entrance open wide enough in the Spring to allow them to clean the hive. As I near robbing season, I gradually shut it down so they get used to the upper opening. Then, if necessary, I close it down. Here are the ones I use: https://www.betterbee.com/wooden-hive-kits-10-frame/rs10-robber-screen-wooden.asp J
 
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