Reduced entrance with Blu-Tack removed by bees, but after 1 week

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dc197 

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Hi all
I have a question about entrances please.
A week ago I added thymol and reduced the entrance from 4" to 1" to help with robbers. I wanted to use the second entrance block I bought specially, but it did not fit, so as a stop-gap I used Blu-Tack (actually American-bought white tack of some sort) to do the trick. I added this reducer 24 hours after adding the thymol.
A week later, the bees didn't seem to care about the entrance, until today. I'd applied the second dose of thymol yesterday, and today when I came for a mite count I could see the bees biting and dumping the putty from the entrance to make it bigger.
It seems strange that they would go a week tolerating it, but the day after more thymol they removed it. Perhaps they wanted more ventilation, perhaps they wanted more space for foraging (they're still busy).
My question, please:
1. Why do you think they delayed in removing it?
2. If the bees want a large entrance, should I overrule them and reduce it (properly)? There are always wasps trying it on.
3. Is Blu-Tack or similar harmful in any way?

Many thanks in advance

DC
 

RoofTops 

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Is it warmer now than it was a week ago? This may explain it - otherwise they have just taken a while to develop a taste for your US Blu-Tack. Feed them some good British stuff next time - no more imports!
 

dc197 

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Correction: I have checked my records and the above timescales are wrong.
It was FIVE days between thymol and entrance, not 1; so the bees tolerated it for only THREE days.

RoofTops, yes, it was a lovely day today, but in the week it had been foul. So the combination of warm day, small hole, mesh floor cover on, and FRESH stinky thymol must have been too much for them.

Would you recommend reducing again, this time properly? I'd hate for them to be robbed.
 
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Polyanwood 

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I think that as long as you give the correct dose, as the packet or instructions say, you can't go much wrong. If it is warm, the bees get a bigger dose, but still not a lethal dose. They just don't like it. I often narrow the entrances using bits of broken twig. They can't move those very easily!

One year bees chewed large entrance holes in the front of my (soft) poly hives. That annoyed me.

It doesn't matter if they hang outside or if the queen goes off lay for a while. Healthly bees have a low varroa load. You are doing the right thing tatgeting the little blighters.
 

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