Layens Mouse Guard and Landing Board – Free Plans

    Hives include all frames, fully assembled & ready to go

A landing board and a mouse guard/entrance reducer are useful additions to any Layens horizontal hive. The plans on this page stem directly from the design described by Georges de Layens in Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives.

The landing board is simply a block of wood slightly wider than the entrance slot and sloping away from the entrance to shed water. Start by cutting a block 6” x 1-1/2” x 1-1/4” (assuming a 4” entrance slot). Then tilt your table saw 15° and take off some material from the wider (1-1/2”) surface. Predrill two 1/8” holes and attach under the entrance with two 2-1/2” deck screws.

To make a mouse guard, take a strip of thin aluminum or metal 6” x 1-1/2”. Using a 3/8” hollow punch or drill bit make a series of holes 1/8” from one long side. I prefer using a punch: unless you have a high quality drill bit, it may tear the 1/8” margin between the hole and the edge of the strip.

The easiest way to attach the mouse guard is to make two small holes in the top left and top right corners of the mouse guard strip and attach with push-pins.

Another option is to take a 6” x 2” strip of the same aluminum/metal material, make two holes 3/4” from the edge, and attach with pan head screws such as 1/2” lath screws. The screws should be 1/16” above the top edge of the mouse guard. You can then move the mouse guard back and forth. You can also reverse it and use as an entrance reducer/gate, which comes handy when you need to narrow the entrance late in the season to prevent robbing, or to completely close an entrance not being used. Slide the mouse guard with your hive tool, not your hand, to prevent cuts.

Note that a mouse guard also effectively becomes a pollen trap (foragers returning home with pollen cannot squeeze into the 3/8” hole without losing their pollen load). So mouse guard should only be used while the hive is dormant: put it on just after the first frost and remove immediately as bees become active in the spring.

Dr. Leo Sharashkin, Editor of “Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives”

    Hives include all frames, fully assembled & ready to go

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