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Author Topic: Queen excluder discussion  (Read 1676 times)
dgc1961
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« on: March 10, 2009, 08:11:14 PM »

Hello everyone, this is my first post.  I have one hive that I started spring of last year, and it has done very well through the winter.  With these warm days lately they have been very busy.

I have been trying to read up on using queen excluders, and I was wondering what kind of experiences people on here  have with them.

Thanks in advance for the replies.
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David C.
rast
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 08:19:04 PM »

 My hives last year did fine with them using drawn comb above them. Some will say that having to draw comb above them slows/stops them.
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2009, 08:36:37 PM »

Here is my kick in.
I use one as a "tool".
Some folks swear by them, some against.
I will use one if the queen doesn't go back down, once the upper brood chamber is full.
I use them to "find" A queen sometime.
My "Strong" belief why queen ex cluders doesn't work most of the time Is because of the "size" of the worker bee we have developed by using the "over size" man made cell foundation.
Which does "not" coincide with the size of the holes in the excluder.

I am not far enough along with down sizing my bees to test my theory.
After my first couple years of bee keeping, I happened to notice the feral swarms I were getting
were made up of smaller bees. After a few years with the "man" made foundation the bees are larger.

Bottom line, Use the queen ex cluder at "your" own discretion.  But know what you are using it for.
If I use it the way it is meant to be used, I will have entrance holes above it.
This forum has people that can give you a better explanation than I.
It is their turn.
doak

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sc-bee
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 09:28:41 PM »

Here's to FREE-ROAMING QUEENS grin!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 09:44:17 PM »

It takes a lot of skill to use an excluder well.  Lloyd Spears once said in a presentation here that he wasn't a good enough beekeeper to use an excluder.  Lloyd Spears is an awesome beekeeper.

I don't use them except in situations where I think they would be useful like queen rearing.
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gguidester
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 09:52:38 PM »

I used an excluder last year, after giving the girls a week to build comb before installing it.  I have also read about placing it sideways on hive body to allow room front and back for workers to pass freely.  Thought maybe I'd modify one this year by just removing every other wire on the front and back rows.  Heck, why not a couple of rows in from both sides as well.  I guess if the queen stays toward the middle that would be OK.  What do you think guys?
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RangerBrad
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2009, 10:21:46 PM »

Sorry to but in. This will be my first year having bees but along these lines, how do you keep the queen from laying eggs in your supers if you don't use an excluder? Brad
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doak
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2009, 11:17:15 PM »

 The right time for this is critical. I do reverse brood bodies some time. You have to make sure "all" eggs, queen, and uncapped brood is in top when this is done. So you put all this on bottom. It doesn't disrupt the set up as much. If and when I do reverse, I will do it only once.  This  I do with only "deep" boxes. If you are using medium boxes for brood, Then the disruption will be more harmful, The brood cluster will be split by two mediums, there fore it is hard to get the top on bottom and v/s.
Also some queens just don't go up into the honey supers.
Main thing is to make sure she has plenty room in both brood chambers.

I play it by ear on a first time queen. If she comes up, then I'll put an ex cluder on. Once she moves back down you can move the ex cluder down and let the brood hatch then the bees will refill with honey.
doak


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Two Bees
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 09:23:00 AM »

Ranger, you don't.

If the queen feels that she needs additional space, I just let her go up top.  My experience has been that she won't stay there long and when the new bee leaves, the workers just backfill the comb with honey.  The only harm that I have noticed is the comb may be a little darker.  But if you're extracting honey instead of harvesting cut comb, doesn't really matter.   Just my thoughts.
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 09:49:45 AM »

My favorite use for the queen excluder is to drain cut comb honey on before boxing it.  The space between the wires is perfect to keep from making marks in the cut comb honey and it works better than a cake cooling rack, for example.  (As a result my cut comb honey won blue ribbons in both the Georgia state beekeepers' association honey contest and my local bee club honey contest. cool cool cool) - so I definitely will keep using it for that!

The only time I've used a queen excluder in my hive was when we determined on this forum that I could test to see if I did indeed have a two queen hive by separating the two queens through the use of an excluder between the two boxes in which I thought the two queens lived.

Linda T in Atlanta
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 09:52:46 AM »

As I have changed more into taking my honey off earlier, and then doing summer splits, I have found the queen excluder more helpful than in the past. I do not like going out to yards to take off supers and finding the queen with a layed pattern straight up the middle of three or four supers.

I also find that using them with an entrance above the excluder, and turning the excluder sideways, eliminates about every gripe people have in using them.

For me, it also matters as to whether a queen lays in the supers. I suppose those using chrystals and moth balls, it's all the same. But I know if I keep the supers void of cocoons, the wax moths will almost never do much damage.

I've seen hives that died and the way moths destroyed the bottom two boxes, and the supers almost untouched. Yes, they will eventually work them, but I have saved many boxes of honey super comb for the fact the wax moth larvae did not prefer them.

I can stack up or lay on end, supers of clean wax, and almost no damage will be seen. Supers that have has brood raised, will need protecting.

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Tucker1
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2009, 02:41:32 PM »

There are 3 of us at work that keep bees. All three of us tried to use queen excluders. Two of us had the plastic type and the other person had a metal type. All three of us had poor luck with the excluders. The workers were just hesitant to cross over to the other side of the excluder. While a few workers would cross over, the vast majority would have nothing to do with it. We eventually removed them and didn't have any problems after wards.

Regards,
Tucker
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BjornBee
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2009, 03:15:39 PM »

There are 3 of us at work that keep bees. All three of us tried to use queen excluders. Two of us had the plastic type and the other person had a metal type. All three of us had poor luck with the excluders. The workers were just hesitant to cross over to the other side of the excluder. While a few workers would cross over, the vast majority would have nothing to do with it. We eventually removed them and didn't have any problems after wards.

Regards,
Tucker

Did any of you place the plastic excluder sideways?

I can have bees working on the other side of the excluder within seconds....  Wink

Here is how.

On all my brood chambers, I have a upper entrance about half way up the top box. By the time I am ready for supers, bees are using this hole very heavily. I place a super above the sideways excluder, and plug the hole on the brood box. Since the super has a hole also, the bees that were coming back to the brood chamber hole, now have no place to go. They instinctively move to the next hole, which happens to be in the super, above the excluder.

I NEVER have a problem with bees working above an excluder if I use an entrance above it, and I turn the excluder sideways. This allows a 1 inch space for bees to even work around it from below if they want.

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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 03:24:09 PM »

what do you do about the space between boxes?  i have so much rain here, i hate to leave that space.  it has kept me from trying the excluder sideways. 
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BjornBee
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 04:57:36 PM »

what do you do about the space between boxes?  i have so much rain here, i hate to leave that space.  it has kept me from trying the excluder sideways. 

I only use the flat plastic. It will not work with a metal wood bound excluder, unless you want big upper entrances... grin

With the plastic, you will only have about 1/8 gap which the bees either ignore or seal shut. The plus side is with the plastic excluders, you have much less burr comb as with the metal wooden bound type.

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challenger
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2009, 09:00:59 AM »

I have some plain metal excluders. Would these be OK to use sideways? Also what about just blocking the center 4-5 frames-w-some fiberglass or brass window screen? Is there a wire cloth that would work like 1/4" or maybe 1/8" would be a good way to collect propolis
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