Mouse Guards

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by melrose, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Looks like I may be home early enough to put guards in place.
    Any suggestions as to best types, and when to install??

    thanks
     
  2. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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  3. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    I like the stainless steel mouse guards from Mann Lake, catalog #HD-591. $4.95 each. I put mine on around the end of September. When it starts getting cold enough that the mice are looking for a warm place to live for the winter.
     
  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I have a couple of issues with the mouseguards that have the bees entering /leaving via round holes in the metal strip.

    In Spring, bees returning with pollen can have it knocked off as they enter via the holes.

    In Winter, after a period of cold confinement, the housekeeping bees can have difficulty removing the dead bees thro' the holes. You may get a layer of mouldy bees on the floor.
     
  5. wadehump

    wadehump New Member

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    Use 1/4 inch hardware cloth it is a lot cheaper than buying from the suppliers. I also take them off as soon as the spring pollen starts to come in.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would think half inch if the bees have to go THROUGH it - BUT, I've never had bees during the winter.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Adam Foster Collins has made some swarm traps and uses 1/4" hardware cloth over the entrances and he caught a swarm and I have seen bees go through it. Not sure if a mouse could squeeze through 1/2" or not. :dontknow:
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    either half inch or quarter inch hardware cloth works well.
    i liked barbarian's post and would agree on the metal strips with the round holes:

    "In Spring, bees returning with pollen can have it knocked off as they enter via the holes.
    In Winter, after a period of cold confinement, the housekeeping bees can have difficulty removing the dead bees thro' the holes. You may get a layer of mouldy bees on the floor."


    i use the hardware cloth and like gunsmith, i put it on when the cold starts sending the mice to look for a warmer environment. it varies up here the last few years with the weather, but mid to late september.
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What size hardware cloth do you use Riverbee?
     
  11. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Thanks Barbarian for bringing that up. :thumbsup: I hadn't even thought about the housekeeping bees not being able to drag the carcasses out. I remove mine in the spring before the bees start bringing in too much pollen-I had thought about knocking the pollen off too. I believe I'll try something different (i.e. 1/4 inch hardware cloth) this winter.
     
  12. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Ok...so what is wrong with an entrance reducer? I thought when it gets cold out we need to put one on and the mice can't fit through that reducer...
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    No, but they can chew through a wooden entrance reducer.
     
  14. melrose

    melrose New Member

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    Mice WILL get thru an entrance reducer. All I have are 3/4", if a mouse cen get his nose in it, he'll get thru, if he can chew it he'll get thru.
    I have a hard time finding 1/4" hardware cloth, so hard, I haven't found ANY yet.
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    gypsi,
    i think i have various sizes of hardware cloth....from 1/4" to 1/2", i'd have to look.....:grin: i do know that i have yet to have mice get through the 1/2".

    gunsmith is right, mice will chew through an entrance reducer, so what i do is either i leave the reducer off and put the h cloth on, or put the reducer on at the widest opening and put hardware cloth on to cover the limited entrance until cold weather sets in and the mice have settled elsewhere, then i remove it, so the bees can do housecleaning in the winter. just make sure, as barbarian pointed out, your bees can do housecleaning and any guard you use does not scrape pollen off their legs.

    melrose you can get 1/4" h cloth at a hardware store like ace.....or a farm supply outfit. or let your fingers do the typing and ordering.....internet :grin: