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Author Topic: top entrance with queen excluder - issues?  (Read 2014 times)
tandemrx
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« on: June 16, 2011, 10:43:04 PM »

I am not contemplating this as I don't use top entrances, but I was just thinking about this today since I had a swarm depart last weekend from my backyard hive and figure the new queen is probably near doing her mating flights.

If you have a queen excluder and top entrance, do people ever run into the circumstance where, after a swarm, the newly mated virgin queen comes back through the top entrance and sets up shop in your supers?

Just a curiosity.  I would think it would happen.

I am not bringing this up to debate the use of excluders - that isn't the point (I actually like them, although I know many don't, but again, not the point).  Nor even the merits of top entrances.  Just curious if this queen returning into the honey supers thing occurs.  huh
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 10:55:27 PM »

No reason that would be different from a swarm queen coming through a bottom entrance.  She would be killed by the workers of the hive and they are not constrained by the excluder.

If you are thinking about having a top entrance and no bottom entrance, remember that drones have to get out somewhere. 
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slacker361
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 11:39:16 PM »

I do not know this for certain, but the others I believe have been talking about this, a top entrance with a queen excluder, the workers will build another queen for the top of the hive, if I am remembering right...
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tandemrx
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 10:59:12 AM »

No, I am talking about a hive that swarms and has a virgin queen going out to mate.  She comes back and say in a hive with bottom and top entrance with queen excluder (or ventilated lid as some use that is essentially a screened top entrance).  Wouldn't it be quite possible that the returning queen would come in the top and set up brood making in the supers.

I am not planning on doing this, it is just a question.  I know some people have auger holes in their supers or push a super back a bit to increase ventilation and to give the foraging bees easier access to the supers . . . same thing.  returning virgin queen could end up in the super section.  Just curious if it happens. (maybe virgin queen has really good sense of access hole she came from . . . somehow I doubt it as I have seen virgin queens finding their way into a hive and they seem to use whatever access way they first run into.)
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Irina
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 02:30:14 PM »

tandemrx,
Thank you for this question. I have a same situation, and I have thought about it.
Hopefully more experienced beekeepers will post some answers.
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RangerBrad
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 02:47:41 PM »

Slacker361, I may not be understanding your answer but unless there is allready eggs above the queen excluder how could they possibly build another queen for above the excluder? Brad
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slacker361
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 08:56:07 PM »

Slacker361, I may not be understanding your answer but unless there is allready eggs above the queen excluder how could they possibly build another queen for above the excluder? Brad

that is a good question..... I dunno I just remember reading it I will see if I can find the post.... Laying workers maybe Huh?
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alfred
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 08:11:13 PM »

I have done top entrances for several years. I don't use excluders except for specific instances where I want to keep track of the queen. I'm not sure why I would.  If I did use them with the top entrance set up I would assume that they would have to be removed for the old queen to escape with the swarm and for the new queen get out of the hive in the first place, right? The same in the case of supercedure, the excluder would have to be removed in order for the queen to escape in the first place. So I think that I would have to keep it off through the whole process until I saw that the new queen was back and laying.
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rbinhood
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 04:50:52 PM »

Here is east Central Alabama it gets rather hot and muggy during July and August and for many years I have propped the top cover open with a couple of wedges between the top cover and the intercover to allow more ventilation of the hive hoping to releave some of the stress on the bees.  They can go and come through the hole in the intercover and there is less dirty little bee footprints on the comb in my supers and the comb in much whiter.  I am just an old codger who is not up to date on all of this new modern hive and bee management stuff, I'm not sure you could call that a top entrance but boy do them girls come and go from there.

Over the years I have had young queens appear in the supers and start building brood in them but I thought maybe they came from the brood box below the excluder.  i just though they passed through the excluder right after they emerged from the cell and before the old queen had time to terminate them, never gave much thought to what you are talking about.   Brian

Bees are like any livestock....you can build a fence, put them in a coop, lasso them, and even hog tie them but sooner or latter they are going to get loose and do what they want too do.
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alfred
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 05:21:38 PM »

 Hey rbinhood,
In your set up I am assuming that you still have the bottom entrance when you open the top for ventilation. I would guess that they are escaping through your bottom entrance.

In mine there is no bottom opening. During the hot months I use a screen bottom but the mesh is too tight for any of them to get out. I wouldn't want to trust that the virgin Queen could squeeze through, she might be able to but then she might not and then where would you be?

Why use queen excluders anyway?
Alfred
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rbinhood
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 05:40:37 PM »

Alfred,

Yes I still leave the bottom entrance open and do use SBB with #8 hardware cloth, also have hives that have the old school solid bottom boards.   The only reason I use excluders are that I use foundationless frames too produce chunk, or comb honey.  My customers just don't like the extra meat in the comb!.....ROFLMAO!
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T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 05:52:51 PM »

No offense intended here, but if I'm following the question I believe it comes under the heading of "bad beekeeping."  Personally, I've only used an excluder to locate a queen when dealing with several supers and that's a rarity (not really sure where mine are anymore Wink.

RangerBrad makes a good point with his question.

thomas
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2011, 06:03:27 PM »


  The only reason I use excluders are that I use foundationless frames too produce chunk, or comb honey.  My customers just don't like the extra meat in the comb!.....ROFLMAO!

If you are producing chunk honey, just take frames from the honey storage part of the hive.  Outside the brood nest the bees make full frames of honey with no brood.  The mixed frames with honey AND brood are from the brood nest.  I would never harvest those.
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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2011, 06:11:48 PM »

Excellent advise from FRAMEshift.  It happens all to often as I think most beeks just take it for granted that we never take brood honey.  Its advise I rarely see in beekeeping books.

thomas
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rbinhood
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2011, 06:34:36 PM »

I'm 72 years old and I don't like to lift all those boxes and not trying to be a smart @$$ or anything I never go into the broodbox after I am sure every thing is kosher as far as initial setup (laying queen and brood pattern).  I am a naturalist I do not use chemical or any of that other stuff and most of all I want the cleanest comb possable for my product.  Like I let nature take its course and over the many years I have worked with bees I have found that bees like anything else will over time will either flourish or dwindle away, only the strongest will survive.  Like many other oldtimers to a certain extent I still put the bees in a hive and let nature take its course.  I have a few losses from time to time and many of the things I do are not what the new generations of beekeepers do....I don't fault anyone for using the techniques that work for them, I've seen some of the fellows around this area who use every product sold to make their bees the healthest and most productive possable and the majority of it is "SNAKE OIL" just something to take their hard earned money.

Let me get off of my soapbox, just let me say this.....I will not have a closed mind to anything or any idea I just know what works for me.

If I have offended anyone in any way I sincerely apologize!
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