"Number 8", you say. "What the heck is that?". Well, it is the size of the hardware cloth you need to keep bees in their hive and mice and other things out. I had a very difficult time locating it. Number 8 hardware cloth has square holes in it that are approximately 1/8" in width and height. You would figure it would be at any local (ugh local...more on that in a minute) hardware store. You know, just laying there glistening in the sun with the chicken wire and such.
I am here to tell you that is NOT the way it is. I started my search so I can start making screened bottom boards and inner covers for my hives. It gets very hot here in Northwest Louisiana so the bees need all the help they can get.
Of course, the first place I looked was the big box stores. Then a feed store, and then a farm supply store or two and finally another hardware store. I finally resigned to just ordering it online. There are several places to get it online but oddly the shipping is more than the screen itself. I figured I would put it off for a while and see if maybe someone has a sale or something.
Of course, every time I stopped at a place that did not have it, I said to myself "Self, You really need to check the hardware store down the street from the house, I bet he might have some.". I drive by this little store daily, likely 3 or 4 times daily. Not directly in front of it, mind you, but a block away from it. Every day....three or four times a day. Not stopping, just driving by.
Well, today I had to drop off my scout leader uniform (both my boys are in Boy Scouts) to have some patches sewed on. Conveniently, the hardware store is next to the tailor.
I walk in, expecting disappointment again. The hardware store owner, who is always there, asks if he can help me find anything. I say number 8 hardware cloth, you know 1/8" squares. He replies "I have a whole roll of it, how much do you need?".
I was flabbergasted, flummoxed and excited all at the same time. However I did retain the mental faculties to ask for some. I ended up with a five foot by three foot section. Plenty to do what I need for now.
Just goes to show you, start close before heading out into the wild oh, and support local stores.
I will post up some pictures when I start making the ventilation parts.