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Mouseguards and winter ventilation

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Apple 

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Never had a mouse in a hive with bees in it.
Have seen the destruction that a mouse can do to a hive that has no bees in it... ie one that has died out overwinter.

More worried now about these clowns*" re wilding" Bodmin moor.
First a pair of beavers... now pine martins... let alone the wild boar they have "released"

Tarquin and Lucinda Ponconby -Smyth... I think they were called? "new farmers" moved down from Surreey sweetie... on Radio Cornwall this morning! :calmdown:
( Wonder if I could sell them a couple of Flow hives????)
 

Newbeeneil 

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Do you have a photo, Neil?
[/QUOTE

Hi Eric,
I decided to knock a new floor up this evening so took a few pics.
I wanted to show how the landing board slopes up to the 7mm vertical gap so I removed the side support and replaced it with a piece of Perspex to show the position.(unfortunately the clutch on my screwdriver was set to strong and broke the Perspex) 😀
I have made this floor only 50mm high so the entrance reduces from 25mm to 7mm.
I hope this helps you with your design.
Neil
 

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understanding_bees 

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:iagree: rather than over analysing everything and creating problems that don't exist
Mr Jenkins, stop being so insistent that you are right. Mice are a problem. Mice in bee hives are a nasty problem. That is the simple analysis. If you think that I am over analysing anything, come to Australia and checkout the mouse problem yourself,
 

Erichalfbee 

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Mr Jenkins, stop being so insistent that you are right. Mice are a problem. Mice in bee hives are a nasty problem. That is the simple analysis. If you think that I am over analysing anything, come to Australia and checkout the mouse problem yourself,
Do I recall you said you’ve never had a mouse in your hives?
Then you must be doing something right.
 

understanding_bees 

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Do I recall you said you’ve never had a mouse in your hives?
Then you must be doing something right.
Thank you Dani for your question and comment. Yes, I did say that I have not had a mouse in my hives. I also said, "Not yet". I also said that I have only had bees for one year. In basic terms, I do not want to start having the problem. As the old expression goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
If anyone thinks that I am exaggerating, or over-analysing, or being over-concerned about a problem I might never have, etc, etc, then let them come here so that they can experience for themselves what a problem mice can be here.
 
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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Mr Jenkins, stop being so insistent that you are right. Mice are a problem. Mice in bee hives are a nasty problem. That is the simple analysis. If you think that I am over analysing anything, come to Australia and checkout the mouse problem yourself,
maybe keep bees for a few years then lecture me
 

understanding_bees 

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maybe keep bees for a few years then lecture me
Mr Jenkins, if you want people to respect your opinions, then be respectful when you offer your opinions. Who is doing the lecturing? Who has made spiteful and offensive comments? - and on a regular basis as well.
I have followed this forum because I wish to learn where I can, from the experiences of others. I have contributed to this forum where I have had information to share. I have not made comments with a view to denigrating anybody, or lecturing them.
Slightly changing the topic, is it easy to observe that bees are kept in many parts of the world, and that climatic conditions in those areas vary widely. There is no "one size fits all" solution to the problems which bee keepers face. My hope has been, and continues to be, that we can share ideas so that we may adopt the best solution we can find to our individual beekeeping problems.
I chose my signature phrase, "Gain knowledge, but seek understanding", quite deliberately.
Mr Jenkins, may I ask you to ponder what I have just said, before you make further comments.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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I have followed this forum because I wish to learn where I can, from the experiences of others. I have contributed to this forum where I have had information to share.
There is a poly hive made by Paynes Bee farms in the uk
It has a plastic entrance block with holes in it for mousetrap time. You might find that useful?
I'm afraid I don't know the hole dimensions offhand.
@pargyle runs Paynes hives and I'm sure he uses them. Perhaps he'll drop in and tell us.
Screenshot 2020-10-31 at 10.26.54.pngScreenshot 2020-10-31 at 10.27.04.png
 

understanding_bees 

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Never had a mouse in a hive with bees in it.
Have seen the destruction that a mouse can do to a hive that has no bees in it... ie one that has died out overwinter.
I am pleased for everyone who has never had a problem with mice.
I am pleased to hear that a vibrant hive will repel any attempted mouse invasion.
I feel empathy with those beekeepers who have suffered the loss of colony which died out over winter, and then the additional loss when a mouse has destroyed the inside of the hive as well.
I want to do whatever it takes to prevent mice from being able to do this kind of damage. This includes making my "honey house" mouse-proof, and my hives mouse-invasion-proof. It also includes trying to make my property unattractive to mice by insecure storage of foodstuffs that mice might find attractive. (I have in the past kept poultry and know how opportunistic mice can be.) Another aspect of mouse control is effective use of mouse (and rat) bait stations wherever there is any evidence of these rodents being around.
 
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seillean mil 

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I want to do whatever it takes to prevent mice from being able to do this kind of damage. This includes making my "honey house" mouse-proof, and my hives mouse-invasion-proof. It also includes trying to make my property unattractive to mice by insecure storage of foodstuffs that mice might find attractive. (I have in the past kept poultry and know how opportunistic mice can be.) Another aspect of mouse control is effective use of mouse (and rat) bait stations wherever there is any evidence of these rodents being around.
We keep chickens and you are correct in that mice will always be attracted to their food. But I'm also (sort of) pleased to say that there is a virtuous circle in this, in that our hens have been seen eating mice on several occasions. For that reason and in order to protect our wildlife, I gave up using mouse poisons many years ago.

But since many beekeepers are "country folk", you highlight another factor which affects the liklihood of our bees being under mouse-attack. If they do have other livestock or hobbies which might help to provide favourable conditions for mice, some peoples' hives may well need to be more robustly monitored and protected than others. In Scotland, at this time of year and in early springtime, woodmice are on a breeding bonanza, as the plentiful supplies of their natural food allows them to build up population numbers before the challenges of winter start to make life difficult. For this reason, although I cannot comment as regards the hive problem, it is certainly true that sheds, workshops and houses will be severely tested for mouseproofness.
 

Erichalfbee 

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We keep chickens and you are correct in that mice will always be attracted to their food. But I'm also (sort of) pleased to say that there is a virtuous circle in this, in that our hens have been seen eating mice on several occasions. For that reason and in order to protect our wildlife, I gave up using mouse poisons many years ago.
Same here
We have a Red Kite pair and a couple of Tawny Owls nesting at one end of the garden.
On one camera monitoring a hedgehog home we have an owl swooping down on an unsuspecting mouse.
On the drive we have put a Barn Owl box that has been occupied for three seasons
These birds are to be cherished and protected.
The hens’ walk-in run is on weld mesh and their food is in rodent proof bins.
No poison ever for me.
On the odd occasion when we first moved here in 2012 we borrowed our neighbour’s Jack Russel.
 

Pembroke 

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More worried now about these clowns*" re wilding" Bodmin moor.
First a pair of beavers... now pine martins... let alone the wild boar they have "released"

Tarquin and Lucinda Ponconby -Smyth... I think they were called? "new farmers" moved down from Surreey sweetie... on Radio Cornwall this morning! :calmdown:
( Wonder if I could sell them a couple of Flow hives????)
Well you've got to keep the Beast of Bodmin fed some how :laughing-smiley-014
 
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There is a poly hive made by Paynes Bee farms in the uk
It has a plastic entrance block with holes in it for mousetrap time. You might find that useful?
I'm afraid I don't know the hole dimensions offhand.
@pargyle runs Paynes hives and I'm sure he uses them. Perhaps he'll drop in and tell us.
They are about 7mm (I haven't measured them) To be honest I've never had a problem with mice in my apiary and I tend to run with the standard reduced entrance most of the time - in winter and summer they manage well with this size entrance - it's about 100mm wide and about 8mm high ...

On the one occasion when I had robbing in a full hive I used the side with the holes in it and put aluminium tape over the two outer holes and the colony seemed more than capable of defending the two holes left ... there is only enough space for one bee at a time to use the holes.

It's also useful if I want to lock them in .. I tape over all the holes and turn the entrance block to the holes side ... works well. It would be a very effective mouse guard.
 

Murox 

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We keep chickens and you are correct in that mice will always be attracted to their food. But I'm also (sort of) pleased to say that there is a virtuous circle in this, in that our hens have been seen eating mice on several occasions. For that reason and in order to protect our wildlife, I gave up using mouse poisons many years ago.
.................edit.....................
I no longer keep chickens but when I did they would happily chase and kill mice if they got the chance. Even though their food was kept in rodent proof bins mice were often found in the dry shed where the bins were stored. It was the rats that caused the main problems.
 

Antipodes 

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It's a really good idea not to let rats near your house as they chew electrical wires.
 

Antipodes 

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It sounds like 7mm is getting close to a consensus on the size to stop a mouse.
 

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