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Author Topic: hardware cloth  (Read 4329 times)
rgy
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« on: October 22, 2010, 01:52:41 PM »

going to winterize this weekend and for a mouse gaurd I was going to use hardware cloth.  Is 1/2 inch hardware cloth the correct size to keep mice out?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 03:31:11 PM »

No... Mice will go through 1/2 inch.
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rgy
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 06:49:40 PM »

ok Iddee, what do I do.  How about those metal "L" bars you see in hardware stores that have some thing like 3/8" holes and oval holes in them.    I don't know what they are called but they are all ways with the threaded rod and flat stock steel that have holes drilled in them. 
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rgy
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 06:50:18 PM »

or is 1/4 hardware cloth OK??
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 07:17:36 PM »

1/4 is ok, but 3/8 is better.They do make a 3/8 hardware cloth, but it is hard to find. The brackets you mention will work if the holes are 3/8 in. I think they come in different sizes.
You can also cut a wood block to fill the entrance, like a reducer, but with the opening between 1/4 and 3/8.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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L Daxon
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 07:47:42 PM »

Regarding using the standard wood entrance reducers to keep out mice:

I've seen mice chew through wood to gain entrance to things so I am afraid to use the wood reducer in the winter.  Of course it would take the mouse a while to chew a big enough hole to slip through, but if the bees are clustered up I don't know if they would come down and chase a mouse off or not.

But if iddee says wood will work, I will take his word for it.
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linda d
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 07:54:30 PM »

Last winter I had some mice in a hive.   They just pulled my wood reducer out of the entrance.   Saw it on the ground and thought how odd and placed it back.   Next time I was there it was out again.  So I opened it up and killed a few and lost a few of the mice.   Felt better and the week after that, I noticed the reducer out on a hive 12 boxes down the row.   Geez.   They have been in since then and are well glued by now I guess. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 09:15:29 PM »

Back when I used mouse guards (before top entrances only) I used 1/4" and it worked fine.  Around here what is popular is an insert that is a piece of 3/8" plywood 4" wide and the width of the opening (on a 10 frame Langstroth that would be about 14 3/4") and three 4" pieces of lath.  The lath makes a spacer to hold the 3/8" piece up.  This is left on year round and does something similar to the baffle on the front of a slatted rack as far as blocking the draft at the door, but it also keeps out the mice.  I know 3/8" doesn't sound like enough, but apparently 3/8" for four inches is.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2010, 11:27:13 AM »

My husband just cut mouse guards for me out of wood.  The wood runs the length of the front with the opening 3/8" tall and only 1" wide, but then it's gotten a lot colder.  I've been watching them and there isn't any congestion at the entrances except on the rare 65 day. 

Idaxon, thanks for the tip about the mice chewing.  I have my apiary in my back field now, "mouse city", so I'll keep an eye out for that.

I've had to screw the guards in place, though, because of the skunks, I think.  Could be mice, but when I first found some of the guards off the hives, they were laying almost a foot off to the side, not in front. 
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rgy
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 08:16:17 PM »

well I wwnt to the hardware store today and the 1/4  inch just looks so small so I walked around and found a minnow trap for 8.99$.  the holes are just a bit bigger than the 1/4 and they are on an angle so I think it will work, even thought my partner says it is the same and that it won't work.
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danno
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2010, 08:09:38 AM »

Fold the 1/2 in half to make holes 1/4 to 3/8 X 1/2.   Staple this to a pc of 3/4 X 3/4 X 16 wood and just screw it to the hive body
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joncro55
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2010, 09:40:56 AM »

When dealing with mice, obviously they can be tricky so I would go with a finer mesh than you can even consider these guys can sneak through.

Check out some of the real wire mesh companies around, such as Belleville Wire Cloth.. at

bwire. com


These guys will have what you need in stock and ready to ship.  I used them a while ago, and I still have the stuff that I bought from them and it is in perfect shape.
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caticind
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2010, 09:46:23 AM »

Last winter I had some mice in a hive.   They just pulled my wood reducer out of the entrance.   Saw it on the ground and thought how odd and placed it back.   Next time I was there it was out again.  So I opened it up and killed a few and lost a few of the mice.   Felt better and the week after that, I noticed the reducer out on a hive 12 boxes down the row.   Geez.   They have been in since then and are well glued by now I guess. 

Just curious as I'm prepping for winter - how high off the ground are your hives?
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2010, 07:18:41 AM »

on most commercial bottom boards, you can use either side.  One of which is 3/4" opening, the other gives you a 3/8" opening.

you can get a piece of wood that is 3/4" thick at least and to lay it on the bottom board landing edge, making sure it leaves the desired hole size you want for the winter.

it's not that hard to keep it in place if you tack a couple of nails in front of it into the landing board so that the other critters can't slide it out of the way.  or just nail it directly to the landing board or front face of the hive with a couple small nails and that will work as well.

Big Bear

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CapnChkn
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 12:38:25 PM »

I've been reading in various forums for about 1 1/2 years, and I wonder why nobody ever suggests this.

Take a plate of mild steel, drill a 5/16 in (8mm) hole in it.  It doesn't have to be a slab of metal, just a plate, oh - maybe a quarter inch (6 mm) thick.  Take the #4 hardware cloth, set your holes over the pritchel (that's a fancy way of saying "the hole."), and use a center punch to expand the size of alternating holes in the cloth to 5/16 in.

The steel will stretch, the pritchel in the plate will keep the punch from going too far, assuming one doesn't hammer too hard, and the square holes will now be round or rounded with just the right size to allow easy ingress/egress of the bees.

One reason why this has left me perplexed is the traditional lubrication for metals going through metal holes is Beeswax.  There would be an empty cylinder as the hole, so only the top edge would be in contact with the cone of the punch, but lubrication wouldn't hurt.
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mathew
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2010, 11:24:04 AM »

Sorry CapnChkn...i did not understand what you were describing in ur post.  huh
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »

 huh
CapnChkn
Why would you want to go too all that work ?
Bees go thru 1/4 in wire cloth with no problem !
Probably why it hasn't been discussed

I try to use the KISS method if at all possible.   Kiss

Bee-Bop
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greenbtree
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2010, 02:37:59 PM »

Rule of thumb for whatever you guys come up with - take a standard number two pencil with eraser - if eraser end can go through the holes easily, so can a mouse.

JC
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ski
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2010, 08:06:49 PM »

I found this easy to make mouse guard while reading some other web sites.

The theory is that mice will not go through a 3/8” opening but bees do fine (bee space).   I think Iddee mentioned something like this.
http://www.thebeeyard.org/

It was mentioned at one of our bee meetings that when reducers were left on all winter the bees were found around the open part of the reducer.

So my thought was to make a 3/8” opening all the way across. Here is one I made.
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w45/Beegood_01/mouseguard001.jpg
I did make it 3/8” instead of the 5/6” as mentioned in the link above, maybe next time I will use 5/16’.
Ski

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woodchopper
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2010, 09:30:46 PM »

Rule of thumb for whatever you guys come up with - take a standard number two pencil with eraser - if eraser end can go through the holes easily, so can a mouse.

JC
If this is true how come the mouse guards sold commercially work and the holes on them an eraser will pass through ? I've never had mouse problems and I only use Brushy Mt. ones that's why I ask.
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2010, 10:02:51 PM »



Made out of aluminium, made 7 of them, then got tired, now shove in 1/4 in. wire cloth in the rest of the hives !

Bee-Bop
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2010, 10:16:25 PM »

@Bee-Bop:

Well, in the post by Iddee above, (http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,30343.msg241770.html#msg241770) it's mentioned that 1/4 works, 3/8 better, and finding the better is harder.  I figure if you split the difference you will avoid the mouse problem and avoid the bee problem.  How much work can that be in comparison to ridding the hives of infestation?

edit:  Oh I see.  Yeah that would be a lot of work. cool

@Mathew:

What I was describing was a technique I had imagined where I would take #4 (4 wires per inch) hardware cloth (wire screen or galvanized mesh), then expand the size of every other hole to make a screen with a hole measurement of 5/16th of an inch.  Greenbtree is saying that that's too big, a mouse can fit through a hole 7mm in size, while the size hole I'm suggesting is 8, and #4 hardware cloth will have 6mm holes.
  
It would look something like this:  

And before anybody asks.  Yes, I do have the equipment to measure little holes like that.  I make flutes.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 10:55:27 PM by CapnChkn » Logged

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rdy-b
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2010, 10:48:18 PM »

  BeeBOP what about the gap at top --not sure but it looks big in the pic--RDY-B
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2010, 10:05:46 AM »

rdy-b

Pictures can be deceptive some times.

My removable screened in Bottom boards are all made in one piece.

Sorry I don't have a close up showing the front







Bee-Bop
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woodchopper
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2010, 10:18:23 AM »

rdy-b

Pictures can be deceptive some times.

My removable screened in Bottom boards are all made in one piece.

Sorry I don't have a close up showing the front



Bee-Bop
Bee Bop, any chance you'd have any plans for these. I'd like to try building a couple and see firsthand how they work. Thanks.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2010, 10:49:21 AM »

Bee Bop,
I like the bottom board.  But, is it me or are your boxes sideways?
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Tommyt
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2010, 11:35:28 AM »

Nice set up 
on the top of the hive ?

Thanks
Tom

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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2010, 11:55:05 AM »

Bee Bop,
I like the bottom board.  But, is it me or are your boxes sideways?


Yes they are sideways, being close together I find it is easier for me, to pick up the frame end bars, with out having to reach one arm across the hive.
Arthritis and old age don't help either !

TommyT

Top entrance and ventilated top, has # 8 wire for can or jar feeding { no bees flying around }, packed with dried leaves during the winter to insulate and absorb moisture.



Bee-Bop
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