Winter is coming, the nights are getting colder, and the field mice are looking for a cozy spot to spend the winter.  A warm hive is very attractive to a cold mouse, so it’s important to install mouse guards on all of your hives.  Here in Pennsylvania, I aim to have my mouse guards in place by the first weekend in October.

At EAS 2012, I attended a presentation by Allen Hayes.  During his talk, Allen showed his simple and elegant design for mouse guards, constructed out of nothing but #2 (1/2″) hardware cloth and string.  This year, I installed several mouse guards of this style on my hives and am confident that they’ll do their job.

To get started, all you’ll need is some 24″ wide #2 (1/2″) hardware cloth.  Our local Cole’s hardware store sells a 10ft roll pre-packaged for six dollars.

Step 1:  Cut a 7-square section of 24″ wide hardware cloth.

Step 2: Cut the hardware cloth on both ends as shown.

Step 3:  Fold the hardware cloth as shown.

Step 4:  Slip the mouse guard over your hive entrance.

Step 5:  Affix the mouse guard to your hive body using two short lengths of string.

That’s it!  These mouse guards are easy and cheap.  Best of all, they leave no nail or screw holes in your bottom boards.