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Author Topic: Queen includer for TBH  (Read 816 times)
Organic Mom
New Bee
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Location: Hopelessly Lost

« on: March 30, 2011, 05:34:08 PM »

Hi All,
This is my first post as a brand new beekeeper and member of the Beemaster Forum!

Last Sunday I installed a package of bees into the TBH I built earlier in the month. A friend of mine installed his the week before and his bees swarmed and took off in 4 days sad but he acknowledged that he bothered them too much and didn't seal off any of the entrances. 

So that tipped me off that to use a queen excluder. These are 4.9mm bees, so I sealed off all entrances to the hive but one and attached a square of #4 hardware cloth (with drywall screws for easy removal). Lots of dead bees at the entrance now which I think is normal, but I'm afraid it's going to get clogged. I am thinking about picking them out with a long tweezer. Is this an OK thing to do? So far there is a lot of activity even though it has been cool and rainier here than normal (GA), and the girls have been very tolerant of me. I can see up into the hive from below (screened bottom board) that they are already drawing comb from three or four bars next to where the queen cage is. I plan to remove the queen cage and hardware cloth in a few days. Suggestions or ideas from anyone would be appreciated!!

Thanks much ~

House Bee
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Posts: 453

Location: Huntsville AL

« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 06:32:33 PM »

#4?  That would be 4 wires in an inch.  That translates to about 6mm, or big enough for the bees, drones, queens, and wasps to get through.  Why are you trying to imprison the queen?  If she isn't going to stay, there's not much you can do.

If she's laying eggs, they will probably stick around.  If you have dead bees piling up at the door, you are cultivating disease.  Bees are smart enough to avoid places where disease will kill them.

I would reduce the entrance way down, maybe an inch wide, and let them decide.  Hardware cloth will keep the mice and bumblebees out.  A queen excluder will keep her in, but she would have to fly in order to mate.  The smell of brood is the best "keeper" there is.

"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
House Bee
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Posts: 126

Location: Jamaica Plain MA 02130

« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 09:42:08 PM »

Yes 1/4 inch mesh is not a queen excluder/includer. i use cut pieces of real queen excluder over the TBH entrance for the time it takes the queen to start laying and establish a nice brood. After that the package won't abscond and you just remove the queen includer.
Dont bother with twizzers. Bees will have a little bit of a hard time but should be able to drag some corpses out. When you go check on the queen release, scoop some to help clean up. It is only for a short period of time.
Field Bee
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Location: TampaBay Fl

« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 11:42:14 PM »

I'd bet if they are making comb they plan on staying put.
Is your queen in the cage from the package with candy?
If so are you saying you did not remove the cork keeping
 her and the Bees from chewing her out?

Good luck Enjoy your new Crew


"Not everything found on the internet is accurate"
Abraham Lincoln
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Posts: 13967

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 05:08:35 AM »

IT takes #5 to hold a queen in, but that will also remove pollen.

Michael Bush
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My book:
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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