Hive beetle mesh size

Hi, could anyone please tell me the minimum size hole that a hive bettle can get through. I am putting mesh through my hives bottom boards in preparation for when the mite comes and thought I could sort two problems at once.
Cheers John

While hive beetles fit through #8 hardware cloth that is what is used on bottom boards. Some put tray of oil below to catch beetles as they fall through. Bees chase them out. Here is part of a blog post from honey bee suites. * #2 can be used for the bottom of a hard candy feeder

  • #4 won’t restrict honey bees but it is often used for mouse guards.

  • #5 allows workers to pass freely, but prevents both drones and queens from passing through. Some people use #5 for queen excluders. However, whatever restricts queen movement also restricts drone movement, so you have to analyze what you are trying to do and what the collateral damage might be. #5 is often used at the entrance of pollen traps because it allows worker passage but knocks off many of the pollen loads.

  • #6 allows some workers to pass, but they lose most of their pollen loads. This is less desirable for pollen trap entrances because you want the bees to retain some of their pollen.

  • #7 is often used for the collecting surface of pollen traps. Pollen pellets will fall through #7 and become inaccessible to the workers.

  • #8 is not good for the collecting surface of pollen traps because many of the pollen pellets are too big to fit through, so the hardware cloth becomes clogged and ineffective. However, #8 is ideal for screened bottom boards, screened inner covers, double-screened boards, moving screens, and screened ventilation ports. It keeps out bees, wasps, hornets, and other small animals, but it allows Varroa mites to fall through. #8 is the most all-around useful size in the apiary.


@Bubba gave you a very detailed reply, but used US sizing. Just FYI, Flow decided to use #7 hardware cloth (3.6mm wire spacing) in the Flow hive 1, because they thought it would let the fatter SHB fall through. :wink: #8 hardware cloth would translate to wire with 3mm spacing in Australia. :blush:


Thank you both for the answer

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If you manage to find a supplier of 3mm mesh in Australia could you put their details up please. I’ve been able to find 2mm and 4mm, both used as bushfire gutter guards but 3mm remains a mythical pink unicorn.


I recall this being discussed about 6 months back and the outcome was it was bought from New Zealand Brad, at the time I thought the price including freight was very reasonable.

Thanks Peter. Twenty characters.


I just did a search on the forum and found the link for the NZ company.
@JWK this might help if you don’t have any luck.
Thanks again.


Thanks Brad13 will check it out :+1:

Thanks for following up with the research Brad, that is the firm that was posted in the past, about 6 months ago. I have had to cut back on my internet time with the need to spend more time on my apiary.

Does anyone know of a source for Stainless Steel Mesh #7 on east coast Australia in small quantities 2 to 3M at a time?