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The Porter Bee Escape

In Volume 27, No.10 of the American Bee Journal, dated March 5th 1891 there was apparently an article on bee escapes that described an invention by E.C. Porter of Lewistown, Illinois. (I have not seen the article or a picture of the escape. R.P.)

Originally designed
for clearing bees from supers that were to be extracted. (Extracting honey was still quite rare at that time.)

3rd Angle
Available in both tinplate and plastic versions... This is very commonly used in the UK.

I, personally, have never understood it's popularity as it requires a great deal of skill to use it successfully. The device is not very reliable and requires re-setting every time it is used.

The version illustrated below is manufactured by Brian Pedley, B.J. Engineering, Worcester, England. It is a two piece white plastic injection moulding with phosphor bronze springs.

Porter Escape The view left is of the top moulding, but is viewed from the underside.


The bracketed dimensions give the original imperial design parameters.




The bottom moulding is viewed from the top. The phosphor bronze springs are held in place by thermally fusing the pegs that position them.

It is ESSENTIAL that the spring gap is set so that the ends are accurately 3 mm apart and the springs are central between the top and bottom plates.



The general assembly view is shown as if looking at the top of the device.

Reset the springs every time you use it, even when new!... They do not come from the supplier pre-set.

Soak in methylated spirit to remove propolis or white spirit to soften wax deposits. Plastic ones may be soaked in a solution of washing soda (sodium carbonate) that has been activated by adding a few crystals of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide).

In some books published early in the 20th century there are pictures of a tinplate version of the Porter bee escape that was single ended. This is illustrated at right, the original was in a 1931 book entitled 'Honeycraft' by John Lawson, but I had to tidy it up a little as the coarse paper texture caused moire patterns when I scanned it. Old drawing of single ended porter bee escape


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Escape favicon
Coding Standard 2004 Issue 2 
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