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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Elizabeth, CO,
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    20

    Post

    If small cell bees are allowed to raise their own queen would this queen be smaller than “normal” queens. Or are all queens the same size regardless of the cell size the brood was raised in.

    If the queens are smaller are they small enough to pass through standard queen excluders?

    On a related note, I just read an article from the early 80Â’s about queen excluders being honey excluders. The observations were that if you had a bottom entrance only and a queen excluder it seemed that the field bees with nectar were very reluctant to pass through the excluder and instead plugged the brood chamber with honey. The conclusion seemed to be that the bees filled with nectar were too large to comfortably fit through the excluder. Is this a true assumption?

    If true would having small cell bees solve this “fit” problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,797

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    Personally I think the solution is don't use the excluder. I find them useful at times for certain kinds of manipulation, but they just impede commerce in the hive. If the queen wants to lay up one more box, then she probably needed the room and I should let her have it.

    I haven't had a totally regressed bee hive with a queen raised by small cell bees, so I can't say with any certainty, but as I understand the small cell queen is somwhat smaller, but still does not fit through the excluder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Even a large cell queen can get through an excluder if she tries hard enough. i was once totally distracted by a kestrel killing a mouse ten yards away, on the other side of a hedge, and totally failed to realise that I was still pumping. I must have pretty well gassed those bees. Afterwards, I found the queen on top of the excluder. there were no eggs in the supers, so she must have gone up due to my carelessness.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Steve Hamilton wrote:
    If small cell bees are allowed to raise their own queen would this queen be smaller than “normal” queens. Or are all queens the same size regardless of the cell size the brood was raised in.

    Reply:
    They would be normal in the small, medium, and large range for the race/strain that they are once fully regressed and sized down. If Hybrid mix then there would be some variance.

    Remember here that all races/strains are a little different in sizing so a carniolian would be a little different to say a caucasian, or an italian. Also latitude and altitude would come into play here somewhat, but minor.

    Steve further wrote:
    If the queens are smaller are they small enough to pass through standard queen excluders?

    Reply:
    It depends upon what your definition of standard queen excluder is as the sizings for queen exculders for the passage of queens has changed over the years and who also is manufacturing them.

    Steve then wrote:
    On a related note, I just read an article from the early 80Â’s about queen excluders being honey excluders. The observations were that if you had a bottom entrance only and a queen excluder it seemed that the field bees with nectar were very reluctant to pass through the excluder and instead plugged the brood chamber with honey. The conclusion seemed to be that the bees filled with nectar were too large to comfortably fit through the excluder. Is this a true assumption?

    Reply:
    Yes and no!. Part of the problem also came about because of artificial enlargement of foundation bases, resulting in enlargement of workerbees and thus a harder journey to get through the excluders, creating problems, then making for the sizing of the excluders haveing to be changed over time.

    Steve then ended:
    If true would having small cell bees solve this “fit” problem.

    REply:
    ONly if you find smaller queen exluders to match the small bees and not modern sized ones. Check with Walter T. Kelly here or oldtimers with old metal bound excluders to sell.

    REgards,

    Dee A. Lusby


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Elizabeth, CO,
    Posts
    20

    Post

    Dee, Thanks for the reply but I am a little confused by some of your comments.

    Dee wrote:
    They would be normal in the small, medium, and large range for the race/strain that they are once fully regressed and sized down. If Hybrid mix then there would be some variance.

    I understand that size can depend of race/strain/location, etc. let me ask another way.

    Say I have bees of race A that were raised on 5.4mm cells in my hive. The queen is size 10, the workers are size 7 (sizes are for discussion only). After fully regressing this hive I notice the workers are now size 5. If I let them raise a new queen will the queen be size 8 or the original size 10? Hopefully this makes sense.

    Dee wrote:
    Only if you find smaller queen excluders to match the small bees and not modern sized ones. Check with Walter T. Kelly here or oldtimers with old metal bound excluders to sell

    If you make the excluder smaller with the bees it seems like you won’t gain anything. It seems like the biggest complaint about queen excluders is that they impede traffic in the hive. If you stayed with current, modern, “full size” excluders but had smaller bees you would think that you would eliminate the problem (unless the "new" queens are small enough to pass through). Then you could have the advantage of what queen excluders were really designed to do, keep queens out of the supers but not impede the workers access to the supers.

    Hopefully these questions make sense. I am still a newbee and trying to learn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

    Post

    Hi Steve,

    Say I have bees of race A that were raised on 5.4mm cells in my hive. The queen is size 10, the workers are size 7 (sizes are for discussion only). After fully regressing this hive I notice the workers are now size 5. If I let them raise a new queen will the queen be size 8 or the original size 10? Hopefully this makes sense.

    reply:

    I think you and Dee are talking two different things here. Dee is talking the caste break down within the colony. You are looking to see if the queens are smaller. In any colony the is a small caste, med., large. You say your hive A has workers that are from 5.4. So lets put whats being said in perspective. The colony will have workers that are 5.4 large caste. 5.35 medium caste, 5.2 small caste. This is the range of castes in the hive for example. Now in a small cell colony with with 4.9 as top tolerance (largest caste). You have 4.9 large, 4.85 medium, 4.8 small caste. The more hybrid the colonies the more irratic the castings. So to answer your question there is a small difference in queen size.

    About the queen excluders. Well each manufacurer has different spacing. Some have been made bigger. Some are smaller spaced than others. Need to find a supplier that has the right ones. Seems there is no standard spacing.


    Clay


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Steve wrote:
    Say I have bees of race A that were raised on 5.4mm cells in my hive. The queen is size 10, the workers are size 7 (sizes are for discussion only). After fully regressing this hive I notice the workers are now size 5. If I let them raise a new queen will the queen be size 8 or the original size 10? Hopefully this makes sense.

    Reply:
    The size of the worker bee is regulated by the size of the cell and the drones and queens follow in proportion, but also within range of small, medium, large for the race/strain also, which is also dependent upon hybridization (normally simple in wild, but complex in man's artificial world).

    So, yes, reducing the cell size and making the workers smaller, would then make the size of the queens follow smaller, along with the drones, following a ratio of 3, 4, 5 (queen, drone, worker).

    Dee wrote:
    Only if you find smaller queen excluders to match the small bees and not modern sized ones. Check with Walter T. Kelly here or oldtimers with old metal bound excluders to sell

    If you make the excluder smaller with the bees it seems like you won’t gain anything. It seems like the biggest complaint about queen excluders is that they impede traffic in the hive. If you stayed with current, modern, “full size” excluders but had smaller bees you would think that you would eliminate the problem (unless the "new" queens are small enough to pass through). Then you could have the advantage of what queen excluders were really designed to do, keep queens out of the supers but not impede the workers access to the supers.

    Reply:
    You answered the question. The queens would be smaller and able to pass thru in many instances.

    REgards,

    Dee


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    620

    Post

    Dee, Seems that you are talking about 2 different Queen Excluders. How can one tell the difference? What is the measurement of the spacing? New to beekeeping and trying to learn all I can. Dale

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Dale,

    Seems that you are talking about 2 different Queen Excluders. How can one tell the difference? What is the measurement of the spacing? New to beekeeping and trying to learn all I can

    reply:

    Actually its way more than two. There is no standard spacing on excluders in US. I think you will have to shop around to find excluders that are smaller spaced. Old Kelley excluders are often smaller spaced. I think it will take some looking around. I think even with smaller spaced excluders you will get some variation too.


    Clay


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Post

    http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cus...udertypes.html

    If you notice the plywood one on this site it does not depend on spacing, but on the queens desire to remain in the middle of the brood nest. It's not a sure thing and it lets drones through.

    Also there is a discussion on spacing of various excluders.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    620

    Post

    Thanks for the Info Guys. That helps to clear up the issue. Dale

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Big Grin

    As for the use of queen excluders, try this. Put the excluder on side ways. It will stick out the sides of the hives an inch or so. The queen usually does not work the edge of the frames so she usually will not use the sides to go around the excluder. This of course will only work with plastic or "flat metal" excluders. I have noticed the bees are less inhibited with this method. Last year only one queen made it to the other side, and then proceeded to lay in 5 additional supers. Did however get two nice splits. I use flat excluders since they seemed to fill in the extra space with burr.
    All of my hives have summer top entrances of at least a 3/4 inch hole drilled into every other super added. I bought a large bag of corks and when needed I just plug a hole. This also seems to alleviate the bees packing the hive chamber full of honey, and less ventalation concerns.

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