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Author Topic: Queen Excluders-are they really necessary?  (Read 6050 times)
latebee
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« on: February 24, 2005, 10:21:59 PM »

If I am not interested in having my bees make comb honey why would an excluder be a good idea? I am inexperienced, but last year one of my colonies had 2 deep hive bodies, with 3 medium supers on top and the queen never left the deeps to travel upward. Is this a case of a poor queen or normal behavior?
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2005, 10:28:09 PM »

They are useful for certain purposes - none of which is necessary to normal hive operation. I have several and use none unless I am trying keep a queen in a certain super. More details later, off to work right now. But are the necessary - no. Smiley
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2005, 11:32:32 PM »

I think they are becuase I dont want bee brood in my honey for sale, bye Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2005, 03:01:04 AM »

UK regulations are now such that you cannot take honey for sale from comb in which brod has been laid.

If your brood box is big enough - why not use them? I ran all my colonies with them last year, and provided you follow the #1 rule which is if you stick a box of foundation on, as the 1st super - it really should have at least one drawn comb in it above the brood nest, or even a part drawn one.

This is essential to encourage the bees up. Once they come through then everything is fine - full boxes of foundation can be used above that - its just 1 frame in the box should be drawn in the first super above the excluder if you can help it.

If you are beginner, clearly you do not have drawn comb, so you could start the process by putting in a single frame of super into the brood chamber just for a few hours/day, just so they "start" work on it, then move it up. In this way, their is no chance the queen will try to lay in it.

Adam
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Lesli
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2005, 06:11:45 AM »

Quote
UK regulations are now such that you cannot take honey for sale from comb in which brod has been laid.


Do you know why that is? Seems odd.
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asleitch
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2005, 06:23:19 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
Quote
UK regulations are now such that you cannot take honey for sale from comb in which brod has been laid.


Do you know why that is? Seems odd.


No, but food hygience is my guess. I'll try find some more.

Adam
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Kris^
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2005, 08:33:49 AM »

Quote from: asleitch

If you are beginner, clearly you do not have drawn comb, so you could start the process by putting in a single frame of super into the brood chamber just for a few hours/day, just so they "start" work on it, then move it up. In this way, their is no chance the queen will try to lay in it.

Adam


My experience last year, using the Rite-Cell,  was that they needed more baiting.  I allowed them free access to the super with foundation until they began drawing comb on several frames.  But when I put the excluder on, they stopped building completely.  Although they freely came and went through the excluder, they didn't complete  the job until I removed the excluder and eventually allowed the queen to lay ome eggs in one frame.  Then the excluder seemed to have no effect on the workers, and they went on to draw out the whole super and store some honey.  

-- Kris
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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2005, 08:40:23 AM »

Quote from: asleitch
UK regulations are now such that you cannot take honey for sale from comb in which brod has been laid.



How the heck do they police that.  Geesh,  and some consider the larvae a delicousy.
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2005, 08:48:53 AM »

Quote from: Horns Pure Honey
I think they are becuase I dont want bee brood in my honey for sale, bye Cheesy


I would rather pass over the 1 or 2 frames that have brood in them while extracting than give up 10-20% of total yield.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2005, 10:49:00 AM »

Quote from: Horns Pure Honey
I think they are becuase I dont want bee brood in my honey for sale, bye Cheesy


I tried one last year, but the bees wouldn't even go through it. The queen laid some brood, but it was all gone by the time I was ready to take the super off.
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2005, 10:57:29 AM »

My bees didn't like it. I even tried the trick of putting a couple frames of drawn comb up there, and they still hated passing the excluder and wouldn't work up there. As soon as I took it off, no problem. I've never had the queen lay eggs higher than the two brood boxes I give, but surely it happens. Just because it didn't happen to me, doesn't mean it can't.

Beth
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copper137
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2005, 11:53:49 AM »

NC state bee inspector said absolutely no at a meeting I just attended.
Metal excluders shreds the wings of workers as they pass through.
Just repeating what I was told!
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2005, 11:57:02 AM »

I guess I can understand it.  Ever since I ate that honey from comb that was once used as brood comb, I've been growing an extra limb.  I find it handy for scratching my head while I ponder the new rules.  bahahahahahahaha
Excluders are handy when you need one, but as a general rule, Robo has it nailed.  They can really hamper getting comb drawn as several people have already posted.  If you are on a heavy heavy nectar flow, they push right through it because they need the room to cure it.  If it's a light flow, they can and often just fill up the brood nest .  You know what happens next.    Many of the commercial guys swear by them, but I believe it was a commercial guy that described them as honey excluders to me 30 years ago.   Set up 1 hive without one, another with one, and see what which results work best for the management style you want to use.
I have a couple.  They work really well for cooling freshly baked bread.
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Rich V
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2005, 12:13:51 PM »

Some interesting thoughts for a new guy. Glad I read this post

Rich V.
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2005, 12:31:20 PM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho
 Set up 1 hive without one, another with one, and see what which results work best for the management style you want to use.



also try a 3rd hive with one and with a top entrance and see if there is a difference. I have seen putting a top entrance on a hive will lure them into drawing out supers to.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2005, 04:27:38 PM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho

I have a couple.  They work really well for cooling freshly baked bread.


Try cookies too! They work great for chocolate chip cookies! cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2005, 10:36:09 PM »

I've had bees for 30 years and haven't routinely used excluders for the last 29.  I have some around.  They are useful on occasion for things like finding a queen in a hot hive, or regressing bees to small cell, or keeping the queen from leaving with a new package, but I don't routinely use them.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2005, 10:59:56 PM »

I've used them when hiving swarms, making section honey, etc.  How do you use them when regressing your bees Michael?  I'm starting a couple packages on small cell soon and I don't remember seeing anything about using excluders.  I want all the tools when I start this.
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2005, 12:58:32 PM »

Quote
How do you use them when regressing your bees Michael?

By putting the queen in one box below the excluder you can gradually move full honey and pollen and capped brood above the excluder to feed in new comb in the brood nest.  I don't recommend moving open brood up or they bees above the excluder may raise a new queen. (It has happened to me).  But that way you don't have to do shakedowns, but you can keep the queen from using the large cell comb as you swap it out.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2005, 09:42:22 PM »

DOH!!.... I thought there might be some secret technique about to be divulged.  Good thing it wasn't a snake, it would have bit me!!    bahahahahaha
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