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Author Topic: Queen Excluder - yes or no?  (Read 2493 times)
patriotgirlie
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« on: February 22, 2013, 04:40:57 PM »

I've been reading and watching videos as I slowly put the pieces of my hive together...everything I'd read makes a queen excluder seem like a necessity...but several videos I've watched say "NO NO NO" - which do you guys prefer?  Anyone have experience with or without them?  Does the queen lay in the honey supers?  Thanks for any info!

Jamie
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bailey
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 04:56:19 PM »

Queen excluders are also called honey excluders!
I don't use them.   They are more problem than they are worth. 
Even if the queen lays in the supers the workers will backfill the cells with honey after the bees hatch

The workers don't like going through a queen excluder.   
They make good BBQ grills. 
Bailey
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 06:28:14 PM »

i don't use them.  it's one more thing i don't have to mess with.  if you were doing cut comb or something like that, you might want to consider them.  otherwise, why bother.  some brood in the honey comb is no big deal and most of the time it doesn't happen anyway.

IF you use them, come back and talk to us first.  there are some important things to do, or not do, to use them with any success.
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 06:42:40 PM »

I like them and use them  grin

Makes things easier when you know where the queen isn't, less risk of damaging her, keeps suppers free from brood, makes honey harvesting easier.

All depends on how you want to keep your bees.


mvh edward  tongue
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 07:44:26 PM »

I'm a newbie about a month and 1/2 in, so no experience to offer an opinion.  That being said, I've made the decision that I'm going to start out without and have no plans of using them.  As with everything I'm doing, that may change at some point.  However, I get the impression that there are many more beeks not using them then using them..I'm talking like 80 or 90 percent.  Or, at least it seems that way. 

Might be a good topic to throw out a poll on... Smiley
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 08:18:04 PM »

I am so new I don't even have my bees yet but I do read and research a lot.

This is some interesting reading on excluders.

Might help.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm
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edward
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:33:58 PM »

Its a tool,

 but it depends on the way you want to keep your bees

no use using it if you don't understand why or why not, and depending on what you want to achieve

mvh edward  tongue
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 08:39:19 PM »

Thank you all, for your comments thus far.  I really appreciate it.  I'll continue my research on the subject, but feel free to keep adding your thoughts or opinions.
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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 08:47:20 PM »

Its a tool,

 but it depends on the way you want to keep your bees

no use using it if you don't understand why or why not, and depending on what you want to achieve

mvh edward  tongue

Edward,
I think that's what she's looking for, Some advice and opinions on advantages and disadvantages of each option.  Smiley

Obviously, you're a believer, can you elaborate a little for us newbies?
 
What is it about the "way you want to keep your bees" that a queen excluder aids?

How do you use it?  And what does your using it allow you to achieve that would be more difficult, if not impossible if you did not use it?

Thanks smiley



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tefer2
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 09:15:34 AM »

Most folks say the bees don't like squeezing through them to get to the honey super.
While that's probably true, you won't have a problem if you use a top entrance on your hives.
The nectar foragers just bypass the bottom and use the top making nectar storage faster.
Without a excluder, it's a surprise when you pull your honey supers and find them full of brood.
Also, queen excluders are a good tool for confining your queen when you need too.
 
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2013, 09:36:09 AM »

Here is a question. As long as you make sure they have enough brood boxes, 2 deeps or 3 mediums, and you make sure they have as much storage space as they need for honey so they don't over fill brood boxes with honey, is there as much risk of the queen laying in your honey supers?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 10:04:31 AM by seag2425 » Logged

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tefer2
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2013, 10:15:08 AM »

It's usually the first super that will have brood in it. The queen normally will not cross a band of honey and that helps to confine her. You can add an excluder till they fill the first super, then remove it after adding more supers. Another method is to place the excluder on the hive the wrong way. This gives them a unrestricted path on the outside edges for access. The queen seldom visits the outside frames keeping her in the brood camber.
All this fooling around will depend on how much time you have to work your bees.
For us, a top entrance with an excluder and just add boxes from there.
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Moots
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2013, 01:03:56 PM »

It's usually the first super that will have brood in it. The queen normally will not cross a band of honey and that helps to confine her. You can add an excluder till they fill the first super, then remove it after adding more supers. Another method is to place the excluder on the hive the wrong way. This gives them a unrestricted path on the outside edges for access. The queen seldom visits the outside frames keeping her in the brood camber.
All this fooling around will depend on how much time you have to work your bees.
For us, a top entrance with an excluder and just add boxes from there.

tefer2,
The methods you describe have grabbed my interest.  Something I might want to consider trying when I get to that point.  Could you elaborate on what you mean by "placing the excluder on the hive the wrong way"?  I didn't know there was a "wrong way"!  huh
Is there a right side up?  Or do you mean place the long length of the excluder across the short width of the hive?  If so, wouldn't that leave open access between the boxes? I guess you could add some spaces...Are, am I way off base of totally mis-thinking this???
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 01:24:47 PM »

I am going on three years of beekeeping and have not used an excluder yet. I run 10 frame double deeps and have yet to find any brood in the medium supers. I have found brood in the upper deep, but that is as far as it goes.

Excluders do have a place though, perhaps in queen rearing using queen rite colonies to finish cells, if that is the method you are using.

The only place I put a queen excluder is in the bottom of my uncapping tank!! Smiley
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rwurster
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2013, 01:39:15 PM »

I've never used them and have never had a queen go above the 2 deep brood boxes and lay in the honey supers.  I did however pick up a few abandoned hives off a property that had excluders above the 2 deep supers and under the honey boxes.  All three excluders were propolized almost entirely closed.  I took off the empty top boxes for the winter and made 3 grapefruit sized balls of propolis. The bees in my apiary completely scavenged all 3 clumps of it down to dust, it was pretty crazy.

Forgot to say that I do keep a few excluders around if I ever need them.  To each their own on the excluder subject, whatever works best for you.
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mikecva
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2013, 03:06:21 PM »

I have used them for years and have a good collection of honey every year, So for me they and not honey excluders. With that said, I have small bees, larger bees might not fit through the excluder. For that you use a top entrance. The books say that a queen will not cross honey to lay eggs, my queens can not read and have layed eggs in the supers so I use the excluder. Excluders are also good tool for queen replacement if you are having problems locating the queen.  -Mike
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jmblakeney
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2013, 05:29:27 PM »

I do not use an excluder either.  Well, for their intended purpose anyway.  As stated before, they are a tool.  I do have one on hand that I use when I catch swarms. 
I put the swarm in a hive and put the excluder in between the bottom box and the bottom board.  Thus turning the excluder into an includer.  That way I don't have to leave the queen in queen clip or caged in the hive for several days.  This only works with a mated queen.

James
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2013, 07:40:35 PM »

I first used them last year, loved them, and ordered more for this year. Makes for pulling honey much faster as you know where the queen won't be and eliminates having brood laid in you honey supers.
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Joe D
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2013, 03:02:43 AM »

I have some hives with and some with out excluders.  So far I can't really tell much difference.  I get about the same amount of honey per hive and so far haven't had brood in the supers.




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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2013, 05:06:06 AM »

I have some hives with and some with out excluders.  So far I can't really tell much difference.  I get about the same amount of honey per hive and so far haven't had brood in the supers.




Joe

OK, then why use them?
I use them the same way as JMB.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2013, 04:25:19 PM »

I don't use them except sometimes when queen rearing.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#excluders
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« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2013, 07:06:23 PM »

I use them, but not to keep the queen out of the supers. Usually as an "includer" or when making splits.

Scott
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« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2013, 11:07:08 PM »

I never used one so i cant tell you if they work or not but i can tell you i never felt the need to have one for honey production. On a rare occasion i get a few patches of brood on the bottom edge of the first honey supper but that's it. As soon as the brood hatches they fill them back with honey. I use double deeps or three mediums for the brood chamber. A lot of people use excluders if they only use one deep hive body.
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patriotgirlie
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« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2013, 12:48:12 AM »

Thank you all so much for your thoughts and input.  I think I'm leaning towards not using one, at least to see what happens.  Keep the feedback coming though, I absolutely love it.  The more info I can get the better!!!


Jamie
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« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2013, 09:56:10 AM »

hello everyone,
New Cdn beek here as of last year, spend a couple of years reseaching beekeeping and took the leap last summer.  We attempted to use the excluders last summer after the hives had built up hugely, but the bees simply wouldn't go thru them.  I've read since that they will not go thru them if the comb is undrawn in the honey supers .. as was the case with ours.  This summer, the honey supers are on with no excluders, lots of action in them but the girls have yet to start building comb ... its been alittle over 3wks.  We did reverse our brood chambers this spring, we run with 2 deeps, and chances are the queen is down in the bottom at the moment.  I'm still not sure if I will eventually use the excluders yet, from what I am reading its really not a huge deal if she does lay in the honey supers.  However, we are checking the hives every week right now and keeping an eye on whats going on.     
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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2013, 10:50:53 AM »

Its a tool,

 but it depends on the way you want to keep your bees

no use using it if you don't understand why or why not, and depending on what you want to achieve

mvh edward  tongue

I think it is a great tool to have in the toolbox. Recently I was creating nucs and the queen excluder was perfect for finding and then isolating the queen quickly. I put the excluder between two boxes and smoked the forgers/workers down and this made for inspecting the frames less crowded. Once I had determined she was not in any of the boxes I was working I continued to create a new nuc without concern of including her. When I was done I took the excluders with me out of the yard. Also, now that it is heating up I am using them as temp inner overs until I can get my hands on screened inner covers.

I have also heard them referred to as honey excluders.
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« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2013, 10:31:38 PM »

A few things I do "when" using one. I will have a top entrance. I have a couple I have cut short so as to leave the ends of the frames not covered. Cut it to where it will leave the ends open just past the end bars to the inside. Never had a queen to pass through one like this. Most times when I do use one, it is because the queen wants to keep coming up. I have never noticed a difference in honey production when using one, if I cut the ends and have an upper opening. I also use them to find the queen in a heavily populated hive. I am going to use one for that purpose next month when I "attack" my fierce hive to cut it down to size and manners. rolleyes Wink Smiley d2
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