Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mouse Proof Entrance Reducer

With lots of mice in our garden and many hoping to winter in our bee hive it was time for a mouse proof entrance reducer.  I first cut the wood for the entrance which was 34.3 centimeters by approximately 1.3 centimeters.  I shaved it with a planer to fit.

 I chiseled out the entrance about 4 centimeters wide by 1 centimeter high.  Using left over hardware cloth (one eight inch) from the construction of my screened bottom board I wrapped the entrance reducer with wire mesh, stapling it in place.  Not wishing to split the wood I drilled holes for three nails to hold the entrance reducer in place.  The nails go through the wire mesh of the screened bottom board holding it in place.

  The middle nail divides the entrance in two making it too small for any mice to enter.  The ladies will quickly cement it in place with propolis.  Once installed about 10,000 bees came out to inspect it and thank me personally (fortunately I was wearing a veil and gloves) for installing it.

I also put out the extracted honey frames away from the hive (to discourage hive honey theft) for the bees to clean and found them quickly covered in yellow jacket wasps.  This is the first I have seen of this particular wasp this year.  I have also spotted them at the entrance to our hive being attacked by our girls.  The bees will defend the hive with their mandibles and can sting repeatedly if the opponent possesses thinner skin.  Their barbed stinger will lodge permanently in a mammal (killing themselves in the process) but not in the case of most insects that possess thinner skin.  The queen has a barbless stinger but generally uses it only on other queens.  
The girls took turns attacking this wasp


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