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Author Topic: Queen Excluder or No?  (Read 1859 times)

Offline jeremy_c

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Queen Excluder or No?
« on: June 12, 2009, 01:53:48 PM »
Hive #1 is doing so great, it now has 8 frames fully drawn/populated in the first deep. When it got to be 7, I added another deep. The other deep was drawn and populated to 7 about 6 days ago. I added on a metal queen excluder, a medium super w/wax foundation, and a home made top entrance on top of that, then the inner cover and top cover of course.

Observing the hive this week, I saw zero bees going in and out of the top entrance, didn't concern me too much as plenty of activity on the bottom, I figured maybe I just had slow learners. Anyway, I just came back from hanging out at the apiary w/no real reason, just observing. Still nothing. I looked in as much as I could through the top entrance and saw no activity anywhere on the top of the medium super I put on. Curiosity got the best of me, and I lifted the top cover just to take a peek and see what's going on.

There were 2 bees on top of the queen excluder. Plenty hanging to the bottom of it and the 2nd deep I added had a full 10 frames of bees. There is not 1 single bee anywhere in my medium super.

Any idea as to what's going on? I'm about -> <- close to removing the queen excluder. My gut tells me they will populate that medium super pretty rapidly if it were gone.

Jeremy
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Online kathyp

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 02:16:07 PM »
take it off.  let them work the super for a couple of weeks.  make sure the queen is down.  put it back on.  

or....don't use one at all and work around any brood she lays.  eventually, they usually hatch out the brood and backfill with honey.  if not, you can put excluder on, hatch out brood, remove super when you are ready to extract.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 09:49:57 PM by kathyp »
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Offline TwT

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 09:47:38 PM »
I only use a queen excluder when I catch and hive a swarm...
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline honeytaker

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 12:01:58 AM »
i don't use them at all i've had the same problem the girls just would'nt move through the excluder

Offline tct1w

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009, 12:12:06 AM »
make sure they have put something in the super before you use the excluder. They wont go thru unless you do. Couple of things Im trying is a home made Imrie shim which gives an upper entrance,which has worked well and another thing is today I turned the excluders a quater turn which opens up an a little more than an inch or so on each end for easy passage. Have read that the queen wont go to the edge of the super to pass through. We will see. CU Dave

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009, 05:27:05 AM »
Some foljks like excluders because it keeps brood out of the honey supers. You can let it hatch before extracting but you still have remnants of brood (cocoons) in the honey supers. Some folks don't like this.

I don't run excluders I like to let the brood chambers and population build up as large as they like. Also helps to prvent swarming issues.

Wish I had used all medium equipment when I started, then I could move honey frames up to the next box to encourage them to draw them when I needed ;)! All frames would fit all boxes.
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Offline Wes Sapp

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009, 09:01:00 AM »
make sure they have put something in the super before you use the excluder. They wont go thru unless you do.
I quess thats why I've never had any success with a exluder...I've never been able to fit thru one.
Wes Sapp

Offline Vibe

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 10:24:07 AM »
I've had some success by letting them draw out some brood comb on a shallow frame, hung in the bottom deep, and then moving this frame up above the Queen excluder. Also a screen top lets the queens pheromones travel up there and removes the moist air trap that slows honey "drying". Doing this this year I've had my first "first year" super activity. I've seen some of my FIL's hives go 2-3 years with no top hive activity above a QE. So getting a seed population and activity started seems to help quite a bit. I've got one hive now that needs robbing for the 3rd time this year above a QE. I just need the weather to break again.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 12:12:45 AM by Vibe »
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Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2009, 10:51:41 AM »
I didn't use one last year, and the bees worked up, and the queen stayed the third super, the rest were honey and filled quite nicely
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Offline Michael Judd

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2009, 02:58:43 AM »
I have been having the same question myself.
Elsewhere in this forum I was advised to remove the excluder.
I did this and because I have deeps the same size ( I see a lot of people have "half" deeps) I also moved a frame from the bottom up a level and a free one down.
All this has had a remarkable effect.

Offline troutstalker2

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2009, 11:39:11 PM »


 I have used them and not used them, the only advantage is if you need to find the queen I guess. Hive without did have some brood up in the supers, but thats when they were builing up not a harvest time.
David

Offline tillie

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2009, 07:55:36 AM »
As I've said before on this forum, the best use I've found for the queen excluder is as a draining rack for cut comb honey :evil:

I assume when I have a hive that if the queen lays in one of the upper boxes, it's because she needed the real estate.  If I am harvesting and find a box with some brood in it, I just don't harvest those frames.

I ordered a beginner's kit when I started in 2006.  It came with a queen excluder.  So I had to find some kind of use for it!  If I didn't drain cut comb on it, perhaps I could use it to cool cakes and other baked goods!

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Offline RangerBrad

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2009, 08:37:25 AM »
I don't know how this would work as I'm brand new but, would a feeder on top of the super for just a day or 2 get them use to the excluder? Then you could take it off so as to not to have syrup in your supers? Just an idea. Brad
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Offline annette

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2009, 09:19:37 PM »
When I started beekeeping, I was also told to place the QE above the brood nest when they would start to make honey so no brood would get into the honey supers. Here on this forum I read otherwise that it is truly best to let the queen go whereever she wants.  But as Linda has mentioned, they have plenty of frames that are totally for honey use with no brood whatsoever.  I take those frames for myself and leave the frames that have some brood in them. 


Offline joker1656

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2009, 09:41:59 PM »
How do comb honey supers fall in this debate?  We have not hit our flow yet....at least I hope not, but I popped two comb honey supers on.  I am a raging rookie, so I am not sure that it was a great idea, but ..... we will see.

It is pretty clear to me that you definitely don't want brood in comb honey.  W/O a QE how would u prevent this?  I know there are too many variables to cover here, but do folks normally not use a QE for comb honey too?
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Offline tillie

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 01:37:07 AM »
I harvest comb honey the way I harvest the rest of the honey.  If I pull a frame and there's brood in it, I put it back on the hive.  I only cut comb, make chunk honey or make clear honey via crush and strain with frames that are capped honey with no brood.

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Offline joker1656

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Re: Queen Excluder or No?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2009, 08:46:29 AM »
Makes sense to me.  I guess I will remove my QE and see if it motivates my happy minions.   ;)  They sure are purty.   :-D  It can't hurt to experiment.  I only have 3 hives that I even have supers on anyway.  Thanks, Linda and whoever started this thread.  This might be what has been holding em back. 
"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman