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Entrance blocks and mouse guards

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macow 

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Ahh!
Hi Everyone,
I have a bit of a question. At this time of year would you reccomend that you have a reduced entrance and mouse guard. A wide entrance and mouseguard. Reduced entrance no MG or wide entrance and no MG. And when would you remove the MG? Lots written on when to put it on but not on when to take it off. Sorry if this appears obvious.
All the best
Mark
 

hedgerow pete 

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My mouse gaurds is having panel pins nailed every 9 mm in the entrance blocks and then a around the front of the entrance a piece of wire mesh with 10mm holesas for when they come off i just watch and when it starts to look busy i slip them out and use the large gap ones
 

MJBee 

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Hi Mark,
There is no specific date it all depends on the weather. To be safe from mouse damage the bees need to be out of their winter cluster and flying on most days, and therefore alert enough to defend the colony, there should also be no chance of another cold snap making them recluster. For me it is beginning to middle of March but I would suggest middle to end of march for you as you're further north. When the mouse guard is causing a "traffic jam" is also a good rule of thumb:)
Regards Mike
 

hedgerow pete 

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The biggest problem all new keeper had especial me is that there is no fixed dates for any of this work, its all a matter of trial and error, bees are very forgiving dont worry if you are a bit late with taking the gaurds off or evan early just as long as you do. my rule of thumb is as long as thy can go straight in and out with out a massive que it is near enough for now
 

macow 

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Thanks Folks,
Good sound advice from both. But what about the size of the entrance at this time if year, i thought if i gace them a wider entrance (with MG) it might give them more room to lob out the debris etc.
Mark
 

MJBee 

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Yep full width entrance with mouse guard all winter. As you say a restricted entrance causes a build up of debris - not very hygenic. Give them a full entrance now and next warm day you will be surprised how much they chuck out:)
Regards Mike
 

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