So after a year that has been short on honey, at least I’ve got through without loosing my bees like some have, touch wood.
Anyway, last year I used some wire mesh tacked onto hives with nails. It was messy, took too long in-front of the hive and wasn’t ever-so effective I suspect, although I didn’t get mice.
This year I had an idea of a framed wire framework attached to the hive front, full width of the entrance. The first attempt was a ‘bit’ over-engineered, more wood than was necessary, more mesh and a slightly extravagant attachment mechanism including a screw in hook and eye. On balance I might have had enough to make 6 or 7, but I needed to make more in the order of 10.
But all is not lost on that solution, although we will be changing the parameters of the problem at hand. I am thinking I will use it as an anti-robbing cage, closing the mesh up to prevent anything getting through and then opening at one end on the outside and the other end on the inside, making a cage tunnel. But more of that when I get round to it.
So I resolved to have a simpler solution, a piece of 3mm ply wood with a letter box style cut-out. Then attach the mesh with a staple through and tied on with wire along the length. The staple being pushed through to also allow me to just hammer the whole thing onto the front of the hive, for minimal time sat in the danger zone (albeit using a hammer on the hive at the time).
Anyway, 10 made up in record time… A table saw really does make things far simpler and quicker. I popped them in place and the bees happily crawled through them, although I’ve no idea why they were out on a day when it was 8 deg C !