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Mouseguard or shallow entrance block instead?

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dickbowyer 

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In this month's Beecraft, Wally Shaw in the "New to beekeeping? October" article suggests that it is better to have a entance block which is only 9mm high rather than use a traditional zinc mouseguard with the multiple drilled holes. He says that although a juvenile mouse can squeeze under a 9mm lintel, they never do in his experience. As the maisemore OMF floors come with an entrance block which has an opening which is 9mm high, can these be safely used instead of a zinc mouseguard?
 
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Some poly hives have entrances only a bee space high or have entrance reducers which can reduce the height to that amount. It is a well proven method. My worry with wooden hives would be to ensure the bee space was maintained if, for example, the entrance block shrunk a bit or the floor warped. Poly hives are dimensionally more stable. However, in summary, a low entrance will keep out mice.
 

Gardenbees 

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A really low entrance will keep out mice who want to squeeze in; however, it won't stop them from chewing the entrance bigger. A metal mouseguard covers up that enticing, warm, honey-smelling entrance and makes it tough for mice to chew their way in... and other invaders.

Doesn't matter too much in a garden where you can gaze lovingly at your hive twice a day :)rolleyes:not that I would ever do such a thing...). Matters quite a bit, I suspect, if you have an out-apiary you don't visit that often.
 

Silly Bee 

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I made a mesh guard to Victors dimensions to keep out the wasps (very sucessfully)

I will leave that on this year.
 

Hombre 

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I must have missed that one, can you point to the post or thread please?
 

bobandbec 

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Take the entrance block out altogether and fit a standard mouseguard.

Peter
 

Mike a 

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For winter I turn my entrance block by 90' as I've drilled several 9mm holes. The logic behind this was or so I was advised a mouse can squeeze through a slot but not through a regular round hole as it can flatten out its body and wriggle through a slot but cant stretch its body to fit into a narrow tube.

Not sure if this is a myth but its worked for me so far.
 
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The advantage of the mouseguard is the ventilation aspect.

Bees do not like damp caused by condensation. You will have less condensation with a mouseguard irrespective of the type of floor.
 

richardbees 

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Yes, I've got an entrance block with tiny entrance in place against the wasps.

Come November I'll remove it and put a "mouse guard' strip across the open entrance....as I also agree with ventilation.
 

goggie 

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In this month's Beecraft, Wally Shaw in the "New to beekeeping? October" article suggests that it is better to have a entance block which is only 9mm high rather than use a traditional zinc mouseguard with the multiple drilled holes. He says that although a juvenile mouse can squeeze under a 9mm lintel, they never do in his experience. As the maisemore OMF floors come with an entrance block which has an opening which is 9mm high, can these be safely used instead of a zinc mouseguard?
I chucked away my zinc mouseguards 25 years ago and have always used the standard wooden entrance block (about 9 x 75mm opening) on my 90 odd hives. Never any problems. I found the zinc mouseguards knocked a lot of pollen off and I dont like a big winter entrance. Makes robbing too easy!
Goggie. Wales
 

richardbees 

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goggie, Where are these new super hypothermic bees that are supposed to be flying around robbing during the winter, have they got the dreaded "damartthermalmite"?

Also, the zinc mouseguards do not knock off pollen loads...when I first started using them I sat and watched for many hours....

Richard
 

Arfermo 

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In this month's Beecraft, Wally Shaw in the "New to beekeeping? October" article suggests that it is better to have a entance block which is only 9mm high rather than use a traditional zinc mouseguard with the multiple drilled holes. He says that although a juvenile mouse can squeeze under a 9mm lintel, they never do in his experience. As the maisemore OMF floors come with an entrance block which has an opening which is 9mm high, can these be safely used instead of a zinc mouseguard?
I made some shallow ekes out of old trellis "" x 3/4" and cut a 4" wide slot only 6 to 7 mm high on one side for a Bailey Comb change and it worked perfectly. That is quite enough for the bees to get in and out - no problem - but probably too low for other lowlife to get in. I think Wally Shaw's advice is too generous and is enough for mice to access the hive. I have now made several more for other hives of mine and pals as well. The only possible problem is debris and dead bees accumulating over the winter and blocking the entrance - but then that is a problem that needs watching anyway.
 

dickbowyer 

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Many thanks for your thoughts - eventually made a grill out of nails 9mm apart in entrance block as described in "Honey Bees -a guide to management" by Ron Brown. See below so 9mm high max and 9mm wide max. Bees flying in and out happily and pollen not being brushed off, despite being behind bars!
 

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