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Discussion Starter #1
Another newcommer bee question.

I received a ctalog from Mann Lake the other day. In the catalog they show a hive set up with the space in the entrance cleat up. Not next to the bottombord. I have mine the other way. Which is correct? Why?

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Erwin
 

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I keep mine the same way. Why make the bees work harder on one task. If its easier for them to do, they get more done in a day!
 
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I never thought of doing it that way. I've always seen and put a reducer in with the opening down.

BB
 

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While were on the subject of entrance reducers, let me ask this. Should I put the entrance reducers back in later this fall? I've inserted 1/2" hardware cloth as a mouse guard and if I am to put the entrance reducers back, the mouse guards will have to go. Can't see how I would be able to use both? As always, I'm interested in your insights, thanks. cj
 

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If you never used the metal reducers that slide into two clips on either side, give these a try. I'm not endorsing Dadant, just using them as reference, pg. 18, item M00855. Others carry this type also.

They are easy to flip and completely block the entrance for transport. You can leave in the normal configuration almost all summer long. You can use a small piece of wood and further limit the entrance for new hives. They are mouse proof in winter IF the middle screw is used.......

After installing these type reducers, the wood seem obsolete to me.
 

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Sungold,
You may want to consider changing from 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch. The mice can still squeeze through the 1/2 inch.
Denise
 

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I'm with BjornBee on this one. I have always used the metal reducers. Easy to use and you can simply cut your own pieces of sheet metal with various slot sizes for your various needs. I found that the bees will propolize the reducer to the end clips so there is no need for the center screw.

- Barry
 

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I had never had a problem and agree with Barry about the propolis and the middle screw, except one really smart mouse last year that found out if it push hard enough it could lift the whole piece of metal. Of course not propolised. Probably a one in thousand type thing.
 

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If mice are a problem in the winter (and they certainly are in this part of the country and I would assume everywhere) then you need something they can't easily get through or you will open up in the spring to find all the lower combs destroyed and a cozy nest in the bottom. As stated, the mice WILL get through 1/2 inch hardware cloth. #4 or 1/4 is what you want for a mouse gaurd.
 

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And they will go thru any and every crack, crevice and hole including ones you drilled in the bodies for the bees to use. Unless you have perfect equipment it can seem like a losing battle. I opt for the duct tape
 

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Original logic on the entrance reducer, per U of MN bee keeping class: the entrance reducer goes on with the opening down during the summer, it makes it easier to pull bees out, however, during the winter, flip it so the opening is up, then as bees die during the winter, they are less likely to block the entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I been gone for a while so thanks for all the advice.
However;
If I put the opening up the metal mouse cover will not work unless I remodel the metal.
Is 3/8 inch enough for a mouse to get in?
How about, for the winter, I cut a 5/16 slot in the metal guard, 3/8 inch off the bottom. Fasten it to the entrance cleat, with the opening up. Then I just slide the cleat into the entrance untill the metal is flush against the hive. One time deal and no further tools needed. Just remove it in spring.
Then , in spring, make another cleat of wood only and install it for the summer with the opening down? Aparently mice are no problem in summer???

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Erwin
 

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I've had mice get into empty hives or really weak hives in the summer. But never a healthy hive. The bees sting them to death and propolize them if they don't leave. But in the winter when the bees are clustered the mice get into the bottom of a nice warm hive and chew up the comb to make some space (and eat the pollen and honey) and make a nest in the bottom. The clustered bees can't do anything about it because they don't leave the cluster. Even on a warm day, because by then the mouse has a nice nest to burrow into to hide from the stings.
 
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