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Author Topic: no to queen excluders????????????  (Read 7918 times)
newguy
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« on: May 26, 2005, 07:35:01 PM »

you guys are really confusing me now. i actually thought i had a pretty good grip on this thing.  why is it that everyting i have read said to use a queen excluder? my beginner kit even had an excluder in it.  i thought that without an excluder the honey supers will be half full of brood.  can someone please explain this (why and how) in such a way that a newguy can understand, spare no detail.  if anyone has had good results WITH an excluder could you please chime in as well?
thanks kevin
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 07:57:26 PM »

Well,  I haven't had good luck with a queen excluder (QE), but I will chime in anyways.  

The problem with a queen excluder is that for some reason the bees don't like to pass through it to store the honey above the excluder.   This is espeially true if there is only foundation above the excluder,  the bees don't want to go through the excluder to draw out the wax.    

Most old-timer beekeepers say "The queen excluder is sometime called a Honey excluder".

Now every kit seems to come with QE.  I don't know why, but it's most likely the QE makers want to make some money so they sell them.  People will buy just about anything andthese are just oen ofthose things that we buy that we don't always need.

Having brood in a honey super is fine, just don't remove the brood.  When I encounter brood in a honey super, I leave it alone (all season long - by the end of the season, the brood area shrinks and the cells that were previoulsy filled with brood, will get filled with honey.  Then I remove that super.

As with everything in beekeeping there are exceptions:

If the nectar flow is strong and the only place to store honey is above the excluder they will go through it.

If you want to enter your honey in a fair's contest, the QE will help because -- the bees don't store any pollen above the QE - since there is no brood there. So there will be less "other stuff" in your honey.

You could use an  upper entrance above the QE.  But what I found is that bees will use the entrance they came out of and if they came out of the bottom, they will return to the bottom entrance and then be below the QE!
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 07:58:12 PM »

Queen excluders are a hinderance to the bees and they don't like them.  They have to persuaded to go thru them.  Let's face it, if you had to tightly squeeze thru a tiny door to get into a room of your house, you would think twice and really make sure it was worth your while before doing it.  Queen excluders work when used right, but there are other ways to accomplish the same thing without them.

Bees will not go thru an excluder to draw foundation in an added super.  They will just honey bound the hive below the excluder, reduce nectar collection, and even crowd themselves enough to swarm before drawing foundation above the excluder.

Yes, without an excluder the queen will lay brood in your honey supers.  So what, brood is a good thing.  She will eventually be pushed back down as the bees fill the recently hatched cells with honey before she can lay in them again.   Passing up on the few frames that may have some brood left when you go to extract is more than made up for by the "extra" honey from not using a queen excluder.  Unless your trying to make comb honey, brood in the supers is not a big deal.  With the new cartridge type comb honey systems, excluders aren't needed anyway.

If you insist on using an excluder, put it on 90 degrees off,  so there is a passage in the front and back for the bees to pass.  The queen spends most of her time in the center,  and most likely will not bypass the excluder.  Then again excluders are not 100%, queens have been known to force their way thru.

The only real use that I have for an excluder is when hiving swarms.  If you put a queen excluder between the bottom board and the brood box until the queen starts laying, there is less of a chance they will abscond.

Queen excluders are a "good idea" in principle,  but most of the time the negatives outweigh the positives.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2005, 08:02:25 PM »

Well, Leominister is a faster typer than me cheesy  But at least we where saying the same things....
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 08:13:14 PM »

Great minds think alike.  Or maybe we are both crazy.
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burny
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2005, 07:02:19 AM »

an old boy (w/ more experience than most) told me...."she wont bother up thar..."           you figure it out
                                               burny

              p.s.  sometimes its like the forum is an oxy-moron  (or i am)because people get good results with a wide variety of opinions/techniques . you see, the bees can do it with out us wink
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amymcg
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2005, 07:26:21 AM »

exactly.

Burny - you went to Lagrant's presentation last year did he cover the excluder with you?  He had an interesting theory on excluders. He said that the reason most bees won't use them is because they seem foreign smelling. Beekeepers take them out of the shed and shove them on, and the bees don't like it.  So, he says do this:

After your first deep has 7 or so frames drawn add in this order:
1. shallow
2. deep
3. exlcluder
4.inner cover
5. outer cover

Once the shallow has 2 or 3 frames being drawn out, then move the deep down on top of the first deep, move the exluder down on top of that, then put the shallow on top of the exluder.

He claims that this has always worked for him, so what the hell, I'll give it a try.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 08:11:25 AM »

You're right burny, there are different ways to keep bees - to an extent. And some people have good results from the things they try, others might not.

I used an excluder in my first hive, just the way the book suggested, and found they wouldn't go through it. Ended up losing 3 weeks of progress for the bees before I took it off. But this year I used an excluder to help divide a super of bees I added to a weaker hive (instead of newspaper). I had the first brood box, then the excluder, then an empty (no frames) box, then a box of fresh frames, then another brood box on that with a top entrance. That worked for me, but I'm not suggesting anyone else do that.

Part of what I like about beekeeping is the experimentations that can be done. It's just like other parts of farm management or livestock care. There are part of it that you don't want to vary from (such as the bee space between frames), and many parts to beekeeping you can experiment with.

Beth
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2005, 09:38:47 AM »

IMO confining the queen is a bad thing.  I want her to lay brood.

IMO restricting access (yes they do have to squeeze through the excluder every trip) to the supers for the workers is a bad thing.

On the other hand, if you want a honey bound brood nest and empty supers, I think a queens excluder is a wonderful tool.  Wink

After all.  Swarms are VERY exciting.
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Michael Bush
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2005, 09:41:32 AM »

Although I gave up using an excluder back when I was running deeps for brood and shallows for supers, I like not using one evey more with all mediums.  It's less of an issue to find brood somewhere you didn't really want it when you can just put it where you do want it because all the frames in the hive are interchanbable.
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Michael Bush
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2005, 10:47:00 AM »

I have 2 on now. My bees hate them. Some are going past it but they arent drawing out the foundation. I will prob. take them off sometime this week. Didnt someone say it was a training method to keep the queen in the 2 brood boxes?  Smiley
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2005, 11:04:24 AM »

I never had trouble with bees passing through the QE and drawing foundation.  That beeing said, my bees always wanted to swarm and I was cutting swarm cells all early summer up to July in all my hives.  It became a real hassle.  I'm not going to use QEs this time and see if this helps.

Ron
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RandGraham
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2005, 12:19:39 PM »

I've read some of George Imrie's pink pages where he discusses the concept of baiting. I've also had an old beekeper from the club talk about baiting the bees to entice them up through an excluder.

George recommends when putting on the first honey super of foundation, do not use an excluder.  Check in a week. If the bees have begun drawing out the comb, then put the excluder on. This gives the bees a reason to go up. If there is any brood and then you apply the excluder the bees will fill the cells with honey when the bees emerge.

The beekeper from the club actually gave me a medium frame of drawn comb to bait the bees up when I was first starting out. So I had 9 frames of foundation and 1 drawn frame.

In my over wintered hive this year there are lots and lots of bees above the excludeer. There are lots and lots of bees in this hive.

I did run into problems using an excluder with a ross round super. There is another thread about it.

-Rand
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wingmaster
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2005, 06:09:12 AM »

rolleyes    It’s been my experience that a hive that will not move up
Through a queen extruder and build comb is to week. If you
Are doing cut comb you need to use the queen extruder.
No one wants to eat brood comb. That’s why have them in
A beginners kit they assume you will not have an extractor
And will be doing some kind of cut comb. If you are extracting
It’s up to you. When the honey flow gets going they will
Store honey at the top of the hive and this will force the
queen down to the brood box. I use a queen extruder all
the time and have no problem with them. I try to put at least
one super of drown comb right above the queen extruder.
After it is filed with honey I will either remove it or add a
entrance above the queen extruder at the same time I will
put on more supers. Once you have a super full of honey
above the brood chamber the queen will stay below it. I always
leave the queen extruder on if I have comb supers on. Another
use for it is when I make splits I put it between the brood box’s
and wait a week then I can look for eggs above and below it
it saves time when you are looking for the queen. I have also
used it for introducing new queens I always start them in a nuc
then I find the old queen and put her in the bottom brood box
then I put a queen extruder on top of the box and then a super
and the another queen extruder and another brood box. Then
I combine the nuc onto the top box. After she gets a good brood
Nest going I will remove the old queen and all the queen extruder’s.
 this way I don,t have a queenless hive if something gose wrong.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2005, 10:26:04 AM »

Part of your rationale, also seems to be that it came with a beginners kit.  Frankly there is nothing in a beginners kit that I would buy.

Let's look at a typical list:

Queen excluder- don't use them.
Two deep brood boxes- hate them.  I run all mediums.  A deep full of honey is 90 pounds.
Two shallow supers- don't use them.  I run all mediums.  There is only 1" difference between a shallow and a medium and not that much difference in weight.  Why not just have one size?
A standard hive tool- gave all mine away.  I only use the Italian one from Brushy Mt.  A much better hive tool.
Veil- I dont' own one.  I mostly use a jacket with a zip on veil.   I suppose it would be nice to have one around for visitors etc. but I don't own one.
Small smoker-  In smokers bigger is always better.  A bigger smoker is easier to light and easier to keep lit.  I wouldn't buy and don't own any small smokers.
Solid bottom board- I use only SBB.
Inner cover and telescopic cover-  I probably wouldn't throw them away, but I don't buy them.  I use migratory covers propped with shims to make a top entrance.
Frames with rite cell or similar 5.4mm size foundation-  I only use small cell AND these are always in deep or shallow NIETHER of which I would buy.  I have a lot of 5.4mm plastic foundation on a shelf that I don't use as it is.
Gloves-  Well gloves are nice, but I usually wear a regular deerskin glove under the elastic arms of my jacket without the gauntlets.  Again, I wouldn't throw them away, but I seldom use any of these.
Boardman feeder- Hate them.  Too much robbing.  I would use the jar and the lid on the inner cover, so I wouldn't throw them away, but an empty mayonaise jar with some holes poked in the lid will do just as well.  Again, I woulnd't buy one.

So basically there is NOTHING in the typical beginner's kit that I would buy.
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Michael Bush
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newguy
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2005, 04:51:46 PM »

in my short time beekeeping i too have grown to dislike boardman feeders. i have found that when the sun hits them, (espectially after a cool night) there must be a small pressure increase as the jar warms which causes syrup to be pushed out into the feeder which then runs into the hive. if you watch the jar in the late morning you will see a bubble every few (maybe ten) seconds. then if you lift the jar you will see a puddle.i think this is why i have attracted ants to my hive, im sure they show up anyway be this surely doesn't help.  im going to use only my division board feeder which came with my "beginner kit". in which i have found only one dead bee.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2005, 03:26:44 PM »

I often use them and have not noticed any difficulties with using them, for me or the bees. Sometimes I don't use them and that is usually when I will find some brood in my comb honey - yuck.
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Blackbird
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2005, 05:19:42 PM »

Well, I put an excluder on my big hive this season and guess what? They packed honey into the brood chamber and my good queen swarmed. I'm so bummed, she was only a year old! And I didn't even equate it with the QE until I read this thread. I'm going to take off the QE now and let the bees just do their thing. I have all mediums so I do have the option of moving the brood below if I need to.

I must have found like 15 to 20 queen cells in that hive, I'm not kidding either. I found the new queen  so I'd be sure I had one and I killed almost all the rest. I have a few saved in a jar that I'm tring to give to another beekeper so he can make a slpit from his hives. What a morning!

Any one want to buy three QE's?? Cheap!!

Stacie
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2005, 01:18:51 AM »

In light of someone elses suggestion earlier on this thread perhaps the reason I have no problems when using QE's is that when I'm not using them I keep them handy by storing them on top of each hive, right under the inner cover.

In observing my nucs with a segment of excluder as a queen includer for the nuc I see the field bees returning laden with nectar and pollen. As they reach the excluder wires they have taken to using the entire surface as a landing zone. They land and no matter how loaded they are they slip right through and continue inside the nuc. It doesn't appear to be anything they must struggle to penetrate. It might be interesting to observe how they treat an excluder if one were used in an observation hive. Has anyone done this?
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beequeen1
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2010, 10:02:20 PM »

Let them start building the comb before placing excluder.If they decide not to go back-spray foundations in a honey super a few times with sugar syrup,that will attract them.Anyway they don't like to go far from the queen /honey super
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