It’s that time of the year for all beekeepers to make an important choice: either install mouse guards now or clean out  nasty mouse nests from your ex-hives come spring.

After trying most of the commercially-available mouse guards, I’ve settled in on my own design. This design is cheap, easy to make, and, perhaps the best of all:  gives you an excuse to hang out in the workshop!

1. Cut a piece of a 2×4 to 16 1/4 inches. Each length of 2×4 this size will produce six mouse guards.  I like to use pressure-treated lumber, as I hate painting.

2. Mark a line five inches from each end of the 2×4.

3. Set your table saw blade to a depth of 5/16″

4. Make a series of parallel cuts, 5/16″ deep, between the 5″ lines.

5. Knock out the bits of wood from the cut-out area using a hammer.

6. Drill two holes, 2″ from the end and 1/2″ from the top of the 2×4. These will be for the screws you’ll use to attach the mouse guard to the front of the hive.

7. Rip each 2×4 into 1/2″ strips.

8. You now have six mouse guards!

9. Using two 1″ screws, attach one mouse guard to the entrance of each hive. The bees can come and go through the small opening in the center, while keeping out those annoying winter mice.