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Mouseguards and winter ventilation

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understanding_bees 

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Do they live in beehives as well as pigsties ?
Australian mice will thrive wherever they can find shelter and food.

Apparently they can get through 8mm. Please see this NSW government article.

It seems that this discussion thread has "opened up a real can of worms". It also highlights, for me, that different climate conditions in various parts of the beekeeping world give rise to a variety of experiences, and methods.
Thank you, Antipodes, for your research and advice. I think that I might adopt a 7mm gap for my future mouse guards. That way I hope that any would-be mouse-intruders get a headache, and the bees will have easy passage into and out of the hive.
The New South Wales Government website you referred to has a lot of interesting information. For example, "Domestic cats have no impact on mouse populations, contrary to popular myth."
Perhaps it will be a surprise to many people that:
"Mice can swim and remain under water for lengthy periods. They can dig, jump upwards at least 30 cm, jump downwards at least 2.5 m without injury and squeeze through openings as small as 8 mm in width. In addition they can climb almost any rough surface, climb upside down and run down ropes and coated electric wires."
Of particular interest to me is that comment "In addition they can climb almost any rough surface, climb upside down".
Thank you, Gilberdyke John for your response #47 in which you told about Staddle Stones. I searched, as you suggested, but got the impression that most (maybe all?) of the images shown had surfaces which were rough enough for mice to be able to climb them easily. Maybe our Australian mice are a tough breed (or need to be) to thrive in our climate.
One thing I am absolutely convinced of is that they do not NEED a warm place to survive our comparatively mild winters. They can do "very well thank you" in any place which is dry and sheltered. I can prove from experience that they can sniff out a food scent, and find that food, from quite a distance. They have greater persistence than I think any of us forum members may have. It is for this reason that I would not be at all confident that a mouse would be unable to climb through a 9mm gap or slot which formed the vertical entrance to a hive.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Apparently they can get through 8mm. Please see this NSW government article.

Chris Packham is running "an experiment". we may soon find out how little his mice can squeeze themselves through. He's placed a bet of 10mm
 

Newbeeneil 

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My UFE's are not quite like JBM's as I do not have a deep entrance but a narrow 90 degree bend at the bottom of the vertical section. This I believe is not a manoeuvre mice can make.
 

seillean mil 

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I wish it were true that woodmice are so easily defeated; that would have made my 20 year battle to keep them from entering our holiday-cottage so much easier. :)
 

ericbeaumont 

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Apparently they can get through 8mm.
The AusGov info. is not plain enough: I understood that mice are able to flex their skull bones to flatten the head to less than 8mm., but are unable to reduce the width of the skull in the same way. For this reason, a round 8mm mouseguard is effective.

The article states that a mouse can get through openings as small as 8 mm in width, which may mean that mousey enters sideways, but in any event doesn't specify the minimum height x width of an opening.

Is there a mouseologist out there who can be specific?
 

Erichalfbee 

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I wish it were true that woodmice are so easily defeated; that would have made my 20 year battle to keep them from entering our holiday-cottage so much easier. :)
Ah but in a house not defended by 50,000 bees it’s a different matter.
chew chew chew
 

Antipodes 

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The AusGov info. is not plain enough: I understood that mice are able to flex their skull bones to flatten the head to less than 8mm., but are unable to reduce the width of the skull in the same way. For this reason, a round 8mm mouseguard is effective.

The article states that a mouse can get through openings as small as 8 mm in width, which may mean that mousey enters sideways, but in any event doesn't specify the minimum height x width of an opening.

Is there a mouseologist out there who can be specific?
Yes I agree. There needs to be more specificity.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Do you have a photo, Neil?
Hi Eric, as Swarm says it is like the Kewl floor. I don't have a photo but the vertical section is 7mm wide and the horizontal section narrows from about 40mm at the front of the hive to 7mm where it meets the vertical section.
This gives you a sloping landing board for the bees. Next time I make some I'll take some pictures.
 

understanding_bees 

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It seems that we might be back to the drawing board! How small a gap can a mouse fit through? I have been trying to find out, and now have found another troublesome bit of evidence.

I found a Youtube video by the Rentokil Pest Control company:
which sets a “new record”, at least as far as this discussion thread is concerned.

I think that I may have to use a 7mm wide grating, with a clearance height of 7mm to defeat these flexible little critters. I wish good luck to all those who believe in pursuing a troublesome query until they reach a satisfactory conclusion.
 

derekm 

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A well insulated box with solid floor and tunnel entrance, means the bees can give , any visitor in their entrance lobby, a warm winter welcome. Thus giving the visitor an opportunity to think it over before reaching the halls of honey bee.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Chris Packham is running "an experiment". we may soon find out how little his mice can squeeze themselves through. He's placed a bet of 10mm
A sharp smack with a mallet usually makes them fit through.
Might do him some good as well :icon_204-2:
 

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