Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
August 29, 2014, 09:07:00 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Using (and not using) a queen excluder causing frustration and more work  (Read 1932 times)
ShaneJ
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 519


Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« on: January 15, 2013, 10:34:54 PM »

Hi guys

I need some advice on beekeeping 101 Smiley

I started with one hive and then landed in doing removals and swarm captures before learning the basics to properly manage hives. So far, I have had no significant problems and my hives are healthy thanks to all the great info I have found on this forum.  But before I get too many more hives I need to backtrack and learn the fundamentals behind some of the more technical stuff Iíve learned.  I feel like Iím running before Iíve learned to walk.

The biggest issue I currently have is managing the brood. I was told by my mentor (a commercial beekeeper) to not use a queen excluder and I have read the same thing on here many times. I understand the reasoning behind this and I agree.

However, my honey supers are getting full with brood in no time at all.

For example if I have a single brood box and add a super, the bees will immediately start filling it with honey and then on next inspection I'll find at least the middle 5 frames full of brood and the outside frames with patches of brood. If I then add another super on top, the same thing will happen. I have tested this with a total of 3 honey supers on top of the bottom box (4 deeps full of brood in no time!)

The positive to this is that by continually adding room for the queen to lay, I never had a problem with them swarming.  Also I have been pulling frames of brood and using them to create more hives which has also been great. But I donít want more hives yet, I want honey!

I've been told that this problem is due to having poor/broody queens but every single one of my hives do this and I have even replaced some queens and still have the same problem.  So I think Iím doing something incorrectly.

My inkling is that my bees know they have access to food all year round in my area so they donít want to keep stores of honey.  I am in the subtropics surrounded by natural bushland and lots of flowers.  Our winters do get down to about 9 degrees Centigrade (48 Fahrenheit) on some winter nights but the bees are happy all year round.

Therefore I recently experimented with excluders to keep the queen in the bottom two boxes.  This has helped greatly in my honey production but has created a new problem... Swarming!  I have restricted the amount of room the queen has and after a while they start building swarm cells. So to keep on top of this, every few weeks I now need to pull the honey supers and inspect the brood boxes. This is a lot of work!

What am I doing wrong? How do you manage your hives? I need some help and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Logged

Shane
edward
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1194


Location: B÷NAN SWEDEN

FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 12:06:42 AM »

Use young queens, if they still swarm and they have enough space buy in better queens and replace the ones that like to swarm.

mvh edward  tongue
Logged
sawdstmakr
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2877


Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 03:11:32 AM »

Wow. Shane, you mean what are you doing right. Most of the time I cannot get my queens to lay in the second.box and I do not use excluders and most of maroon boxes are mediums. I'm hoping that I have your problem when I go through my hives on Monday. One thing I would do is add drawn frames in between the brood frames,every other one, to give the queens space to lay her eggs.
Jim
Logged
ShaneJ
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 519


Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 03:51:39 AM »

Hi Jim, I can see what I have could be a good thing if I was into selling hives and Nuc's. But I'm not setup for this and its not what I am really interested in. Yet  grin

Generally when I do an inspection of the brood box and find they are starting swarm cells I will remove a few frames(and start a nuc with them) and replace them with new frames of foundation. This seems to distract and keep them busy so they don't swarm. But like I mentioned, I haven't so far had any problems with swarming unless I am using a queen excluder. And if I don't use an excluder I don't get any honey.
Logged

Shane
iddee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5995

Location: Randleman, NC


« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 07:09:55 AM »

Shane, think about it this way. The bees will store honey above and around brood. If they have enough honey, they will move the brood down and put the honey above. Until the honey supply is sufficient, they will always have brood inside a ball of honey. You will never see honey stored below the brood.

Therefore, if you want honey, restrict the hive to 3 or 4 boxes and wait. They will store honey at the top, regardless. When they have enough, they will make room by moving the brood down.
Logged

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
ShaneJ
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 519


Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 07:17:56 AM »

Right ok. I think I understand.

So for example I have 10 or so hives here that are 3 full deeps full of brood. If I leave these long enough they will start filling the top box with honey and then possibly the next box down? Will this not make them think they are running short on room and make them swarm?
Logged

Shane
bailey
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 874


Location: RACELAND LA


« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 07:44:04 AM »

My thoughts are this. I keep adding boxes when the hive is full of bees.   It's not uncommon to have my hives 6 or7 boxes tall here.
 If my bees were still putting brood into the top supers at that height what I would do would leave the bottom 2 or 3 alone.  Above that pull honey frames when full or nearly full and place in empty super.
Add empty frames back where you just pulled honey frames or pull brood from upper supers  and put in where honey was pulled.
Then take honey frames and move them to upper supers. Or remove for extraction.
 Move brood frames down the stack while moving honey up.
Once you have it distributed how you like it add supers in the stack just below the honey line and above the brood line.
Don't worry about a few frames with small patches of brood in center bottom of frame.  Move them up, after bees emerge they will backfill the empty Cells with honey. 

Having queens that will lay anywhere in the hive is a good problem to have.  Keep adding empty frames down low and moving outer honey frames up.  Opening brood area like that will help with swarming. And a hive that strong will really pack the honey in when the flow is on!!

Queen excluders primary use should be a Barbie grill!!!!

Bailey.
Logged

most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Daniel Y
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 10

Location: Reno, NV


« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 08:54:13 AM »

Shane, I saw for myself what iddee is describing last year. I was nto even trying either.

I had a 5 frame nuc i placed in a 10 frame box. the queen filled all those frames with brood in a mater of days. I then added another 10 frame box on top. the queen moved up and filled that box with brood. I am convinced that had i added a third box she woudl have done the same with it. Btu I also had it in my head not to add another box until the second was 80% full. And i knew I wanted ti to have honey in it. I am not really sure why I already knew that. But as the brood emerged from that upper box the bees filled it with nectar immediately. Once they had that ceiling of honey over the brood nest. the queen never moved up again to empty boxes. The bees where slower about accepting additional empty boxes as well.

As far as an excluder goes. my thinking is to exclude the queen in two deep boxes. but have an entrance between the boxes and the excluder. or an upper entrance that is above the brood chamber. This allows the bees easy access to the upper boxes for storing nectar and hopefully keeps them from filling the brood nest with it. I am still piddling and learning so i expect to find out a lot about that idea this next year. Thing is no rule says the entrance to a hive has to be below the brood nest. I know bees like the nest near the entrance. I like bees that store honey fast. I pay the bills I get my way. watch.
Logged
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13626


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 09:19:36 AM »

Obviously the queen needs more than one box.  If you don't let the queen have room, they will swarm, and that's a pretty big down side.  If you can't get them to cross the excluder to work the supers, they will swarm.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm

Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Finski
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3928

Location: Finland


« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 09:32:30 AM »

.
I have nursed hives all the time without excluder. I like big hives.
Their capacity to handle big flows is good compared to several average hives.
If hive make one capped honey box, it need 2 others boxes where to put nectar to rippen.
2 years ago I had a hive on balance which brought 50 kg in 7 days. They added weight every day 7,5 kg.
it has no larvae in that week. The hive brought honey 170 kg in 6 weeks and drew 3 boxes of foundations.

First, you need a good queen and continuous selection to abandon average queens.

I use 3 brood boxes in summer. Actually the lowest act as pollen store and as nectar buffer during main flows.

With 3 brood boxes the queen need not to rise to supers.


When I inspect the brood boxes, I only open the top most. Nothing new in lower boxes what is not in the uppermost.

Strongest hives swarm first. Do a false swarm and put it onto foundations and your problems are away. When they have drawn foundations  after one week, swarming fever is away. Join the hive parts. Otherwise they do not make honey yield. Leave a new queen into the joined hive.


Good honey yields come from good pastures.  If you put a splendid hive on poor pastures, you get nothing.

To find good pastures is a key to get good yields. You learn find them when you situate hives in different spots and compare the results. Differences are amazing. 2-3 fold are normal, and even 5 fold exist even if the distance between spots are only 5 km.

I have found that the distance to nectar sources are the veryt important. If the canola field is 1 km far away, 50% of yield will consumed for the distance.

I move big hives ( like 100 kg the weight) so that I split the hives and pile them to sedan  carry and then pile them in destination again.
Bee are calm and I move them during day light. I can put one box to gather the bees which are allready flying out.
If hive has capped honey boxes, I may shake bees off in destination and then take frames to extraction.

When hives get foundations in big flow, it keeps swarming fever off. If hives are too full of bees or honey, bees swarm very quickly.
And the worst in swarming fever is that bees stop foraging.

When you join hives, allways make a balance between fogagers and brood  parts.
It is false that "in swarm every bee forage". Of course not. In good hive bees in foraging age forages and  youg bees make home works. Both are needed.

Foragers die soon and during that time brood makes new home bees and homebees become new foragers. That flow must be continuous.

.
-
Logged

.
Language barrier NOT included
iddee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5995

Location: Randleman, NC


« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 11:20:52 AM »

If you allow too many boxes to fill with honey, YES, they will swarm. If you have 4 boxes or more and harvest boxes when full and capped above the second box, they will never swarm from overcrowding. In a 4 box hive, let 3 boxes get full of honey and they are gone. Harvest the top box each time it fills and they won't swarm, not from overcrowding, anyway.
Logged

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15095


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 11:55:32 AM »

i'd rather have brood in my supers than swarming!!  we all should have such a problem  grin
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called ďthe government.Ē They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
edward
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1194


Location: B÷NAN SWEDEN

FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 06:41:35 PM »

I run 10 frame double deeps with a raised bottom board with a queen exkluder 95% of my hives work with this setup, some queens over produce and frames with brood can bee used to strengthen weaker hives.

I have an older mentor 87 years old and still going strong, he doesn't use queen exkluders he calls them swarm boards  grin

When his hives have beecome filled with bees = "strong" he throws on all of his boxes that they will need for the season.

He builds a rocket inside the hive with old frames in the middle, on the sides he places frames that are not built yet.

The brood nest goes up in the hive and as the season progresses the bees fill the top with honey and push the brood nest down.

To keep bees from swarming there should always bee some new frames that they can build, no room to build and the start to think about relocating.

He is a wise old beekeeping man, but a this time I chosen a different way to keep my bees but I understand what he means.

mvh edward  tongue
Logged
Finski
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3928

Location: Finland


« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 06:55:32 PM »

.
With Edward we have one month swarming period and Shane in Australia has, is it 10 months?

.
Logged

.
Language barrier NOT included
VolunteerK9
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1647

Location: Southeast Tennessee

Gamecock fan in UT land.


« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 07:41:52 PM »

I tried excluders last year and love'em. The year before I would have a frame completely capped on one side and a mixture of brood and/or drones on the other. I'm sure it's all about the proper timing of the placement of supers, but I haven't figured out all the how's and when's yet. They made pulling honey a lot quicker too. You knew in all likelihood where your queen wasn't going to be and I think about anyone that's kept bees for a while has found a queen on the inner cover wandering around a time or two. I placed the excluder under an Imirie shim then supers on top of that. Worked really well for me.
Logged
edward
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1194


Location: B÷NAN SWEDEN

FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 07:47:42 PM »

The queen excluder also make it easier to harvest bees to make bee packages or to fill queen breeding boxes/hives.

Also harvesting with a bee blower .

mvh edward  tongue
Logged
ShaneJ
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 519


Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 09:24:23 PM »

Bailey Ė Thank you for sharing your methods.  I have always shied away from hives that are 6 or 7 boxes full.  I donít know how Iíd even inspect them at that height!   How do you reach the top? 
Maybe I need to step outside my comfort zone and try that.  Opening up the brood area in the middle of the hive sounds logical to me and I will give it a go. 
My hives that are 3 full deep with brood donít have any frames of honey in them to speak of.  The outside 2 frames have a little honey in the top rows of cells but thatís it.  If I go higher though, hopefully Iíll be able to follow your approach.


Daniel Ė That really clarified Iddeeís points for me, so Iím going to give that a go too.  I get a bit stressed when I see that my bees have filled 3 boxes with brood and my reaction has always been to immediately take some frames out and make a new hive.  Of course, the space I make just gets filled with more brood.   
I will use another hive to experiment with being a bit more patient and let the bees hatch.  This would be great if I can get it to work because it will allow me to maintain the 4 box height which I feel comfortable with.


Michael Ė I had to try the queen excluders out of desperation but ideally I donít want to use them at all.  Swarms are bad for everyone, that is for sure!


Finski Ė Thanks for sharing so much information!  It was a lot to take in and I had to read it a few times.  It sounds like you leave a box of capped honey in the hive and add 2 more boxes for the nectar to ripen. 
I generally pull out the capped honey as soon as I get it (if I get it!) so I should try this idea of leaving it in for a little while as well.  Also, you say that when I join hives I should make sure to get a balance between foragers and brood parts.  Do you mean you integrate frames for honey with frames for brood?  Do you have a set way of working out how to do that or just what feels good?


Idee Ė thank you for the extra info.  It sounds as though with this approach ideally I want to encourage 2 boxes of brood and 2 boxes of honey.   I will keep my fingers crossed that I can get this to work because it would suit my location well. 
Can you advise whether you would add a new super on top or underneath a box of uncapped honey?  Iím inclined to just add it on top but maybe as soon as I get a box that is filling up with honey I should add some space into the middle.  Adding underneath would also make checking for the capped honey easier.


Kathy Ė I can only say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! Smiley but I know itís not a critical problem, so I hear what youíre saying.  I just could not fathom what I was doing wrong, and I was starting to pull my hair out because every weekend I am spending 10 hours or more just cleaning out the hives or rescuing a swarm etc


Edward Ė integrating the old frames with new is definitely something I need to get better at.  I expect your mentor almost has a sixth sense about when and how to do this and I just hope one day I get somewhere near that level!  Iím glad the excluders work for you though, and my experiments with them have not been all bad because they have at least allowed me to get some honey over the last couple of months.


Finski Ė Yes I was advised by my mentor that really we donít get swarms over July/August but this year I helped him with some of the calls he received from the public who needed a swarm rescued from their property, and we were busy collecting swarms in both those months!  So I think it is something I will need to be wary of throughout the year and just make sure I donít get complacent just because it is a bit cooler in the evenings.


Volunteer K9 Ė Sounds like the excluders work well for you too so thatís great.  I do recognise some of the advantages of using the excluders but the risk of swarm is just too high for me.    I hear stories about beekeepers who donít even realise their hive had swarmed because it has happened so quickly and there are bees left in the hive and they made a new queen, so they assume the hive just got weakened by an external factor.  There is a bit of space between me and my neighbours but still, I do not want to annoy them with swarms of bees setline in to their properties!
Logged

Shane
iddee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5995

Location: Randleman, NC


« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 10:19:39 PM »

Shane, as far as over supering, under supering, or mixing frames, all work for different goals at different times. It would take a 3 volume book to explain all the different scenarios and then some would be left out. Do it any way you want and the bees will adjust.As time goes by, you will learn what works best for your goals.
Logged

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
ShaneJ
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 519


Location: Burpengary, Queensland, Australia.


« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 10:38:39 PM »

Thanks mate. I'll keep you updated.
Logged

Shane
10framer
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1501

Location: Butler,GA


« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 11:23:11 PM »

i like double deeps then an excluder and as many mediums above that as they will fill.  i come from the old school commercial mentality, though. 
we used to leave the two deeps year round an feed heavily in the winter then around good friday we packaged bees.  shortly after that we threw two or three mediums on each hive a few weeks later we checked and we stacked more on the hives that were really producing.  after that we pulled and re-supered then we extracted then around july we pulled and extracted again.  in august we re-queened then we started feeding around november.
it wasn't unusual to get 8 supers off of one hive in a good year.  we had a lot of tulip poplar and sumac and some clover and privet.  sometimes you'd run across a few frames of kudzu honey.
we also did a little migratory pollination (there were plenty of wild bees back then so it wasn't called for much) and we ran a few pollen traps. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.244 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page August 22, 2014, 12:32:40 PM