Once you have installed the nail plates, you can easily insert or remove the protective plate from the mouse whenever you want. The harvest has passed, leaves fall from trees to cover the Earth as we enter the darker half of the year, and things are cooling down here in Maine. Now that I have 7 beekeeping seasons behind me, I know that I prefer to have all the winter hive preparations finished before Thanksgiving. That includes removing additional equipment, such as Queen excluders and syrup feeders, adjusting internal covers, and wrapping hives.
It also involves installing mouse guards to prevent rodents from settling in hives. Below are instructions on how to build this simple mouse guard for your hives. This modification will save you the time of putting on and removing a mouse protector (or forgetting to) every spring and fall. The Marion mouse guard also reduces air flow from the hive inlet and can therefore reduce cold at the front of the hive.