Eight Way Bee Escape Board.

This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.

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The 8 way Bee escape is injection moulded in white plastic. It has been indicated on this page for some time they are made in France by the Nicot company. I have been advised this is not the case, but I have found a manufacturer in China and several appliance dealers who sell them.

It is somewhat similar to the Six Way Escape

It is circular, 258 mm in diameter. The volume of space that it encloses is an eight pointed star. Each outlet nozzle is 7 mm wide by 6 mm tall. The “points” of the star are 70 mm long and taper from 12.5 mm, the central body of the star has 32 holes 3 mm in dia.

These plastic inserts are screwed to the underside of a plywood board that has a central 33 mm hole. There are 8 fixing holes provided, but I have found that after some years of use, (I have used this type for about 24 years and have about 40 of them), the plastic tends to buckle so I have drilled extra fixings in mine as indicated by the red holes in the drawing and now ignore the original holes.

Many of my 8 way escapes are fitted into boards that are only 6 mm thick plywood. As such a thin board does not afford much grip for screws, I have used the System Zero type of screw.

How these “valveless types” of bee escape work When first put in place the board forms a barrier between the workers dealing with the honey and the workers that are with the queen in the brood chamber. Within a few seconds the bees realise this barrier is there and the “trapped” bees seem to panic (my subjective observation) they come streaming out of the exits and down between the frames in the brood box, but rapidly rise again and start clustering on the central ventilated part of the escape board. This cluster grows in size, but does not reach the critical diameter where the exits are.

A comment from Matthew Allan:- ?”I used to have some rhombus escapes and some 8-way escapes which I used in the same apiary, and it always seemed that the rhombus were quicker and cleared more bees. I thought it was because there was more open air space in the actual clearer.”

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