4mm aperture mesh for screened bottom board

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Charlie Bezzina:

I would like to make a screened bottom board for controlling small hive beetle and providing ventilation, and I want to know if a 4mm aperture woven wire mesh is suitable?

4mm aperture seems to be good for passage of beetles, but is it small enough to prevent bees from going through?

Ben Framed:
Charlie we use number 8 hardware cloth here in America. 0.125''   1/8'' which equals = 3.18 mm.
It is my understanding this is the smallest opening suggested for the purpose you seek.

Since number 7 hardware cloth is 3.629 millimeters, that will mean you will be pushing it at 4mm. Assuming the following information is 100 percent accurate. I would like to hear from other beekeepers who actually use or have tried 4mm and hear what they say.

I found the following in the archives here at Beemaster. The following was speaking in answer to 1/4 inch hardware cloth for another purpose. Not the same question you ask, but the answer should shed some light to your question Charlie.



--- Quote from: TwT on February 03, 2009, 09:02:36 pm ---very easily, they have no trouble going through it, most use it for mouse guards, you will need number 7-8 hardware cloth for bee's not to go through, some go through number 7 but 8 is to small. think I got my numbers right, sure some will correct me if I am wrong, but 1/4 inch bee's will go through with no problem.

--- End quote ---

Michael Bush:
#8 is typical for a SBB but it is too large to stop SHB.  People in SHB problem areas tend to do trays under them.

Ben Framed:
Thanks Mr Bush that is my understanding as well and what I have used successfully..


Hive beetles can get through my screened bottom boards.  I know because I find their frozen cold bodies on my inserts after the first big cold spell of the year.  As Michael said, you'd actually WANT them to fall through if you are using an oil tray.  But if you aren't, maybe the smaller wire would actually be better, because it could prevent them from entering underneath. 


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