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  1. #1

    Exclamation

    Ok, I have been told by most of the locals that excluders DON'T work. They tell me the bees just fill them up with propolis and then noone gets through. I like the idea of keeping the queen where I want her.

    What is your opinion?
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

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    I gave them up 29 years ago and never looked back. But I will say this. A queen and the bees want a consolidated brood nest. But they also want an adequate population of drones. They will raise drones somewhere. If you don't let them do it in the brood chamber, they will do it in the supers in some dark coner. Leave them 10% drone comb in the brood chambers and they won't have any reason to go wondering around up there.

    But then I don't mind a little brood in my supers. If you do then maybe you need an excluder.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

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    I used an excluder last year (the first year that I harvested any honey) and on every inspection the thing was packed with dead bees. I decided that the idea was probably a bit counterproductive. But then, maybe I just have fat bees.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    I use excluders and wouldn't consider changing. I take 30 seconds or so to scrape them when I'm checking the brood chamber...that keeps it clean.

    BubbaBob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    east_stingray, are you using an upper entrance of any kind? Propolis, perhaps some burr comb, but I never had a problem with dead bees as you mention. Is there a reason for this and maybe a secondary condition causing this???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

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    I'm wondering if they are drones. That's the only time I've seen piles of bees on an excluder is when the excluder was added with supers of bees above and no top entrance and the drones couldn't get out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

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    "What is your opinion?"

    It has been my observation that when using a queen excluder under foundation, the bees will burr comb. Like the shim, advocated by an east coast Master Beekeeper, they work much better when you have drawn comb.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    I agree they work much better when they have drawn comb .If they have problems crossing the queen excluder, I put a frame of brood in the honey super to draw the bees up,or wait till the bees have moved up,than add the queen excluder.Make shure the queen is below the excluder, making sure that they have all hatched long before I will extract the honey. I also have another entrance on the inner cover, so the workers don't have to go through the excluder to bring in nectar.


    Terry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

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    I didn't have a top entrance. That was probably part of my problem. I don't have migratory covers... I have the telescopic kind, so I'm not sure what the best way to make an upper entrance would be.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    I also have a telescopic cover and a inner cover with a 3/8 by 1 inch hole on the bottom lip.I have seen beekeepers that drill 1 inch hole on their honey supers.


    Terry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

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    You can do any number of things. A notch in the inner cover and the telescopic slid forward will work, among other things.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    One of our NC Bee Inspectors likes the metal-bound excluders because they make good traction-mats when your truck gets stuck. Other than that most of our old-time beekeepers around here call them "honey excluders." The most use they have for them is when dumping bees out to find a queen when all else fails.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Post

    An Imirie shim would also provide you with upper entrances.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

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    If you get brood in your honey supers it will DARKEN your honey. If this isnt a problem then you are ok. I will take issue with anyone who says excluders are honey excluders. I HAVE always used excluders .... from when I had 25 hives to now that I have 600. I want light honey and dont want brood(ie pollen and shb) in my honey house! I have consistantly ave above my neighbor beekeepers and in 1982 ave over 300# colony WITH excluders! Rick

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

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    So there you have it: definitely DON'T use excluders, and definitely DO use them! Isn't the diversity of opinion among beekeepers a wonder to behold!

    Like most things in beekeeping, it probably comes down to personal preference, nuances of management and which books your bees have read during the winter.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    I love includers, LOL. I have not had a problem with the queens going up into the supers. Only one made her nest like a chimney. I rearanged the combs putting all brood in the bottom 2 mediums and the honey in the third and she stayed down the rest of the season. I have used my excluders over and over again as includers after doing removals and swarm catches. I need a few more. I never want to be without one but so far have not seen a need to use them to keep queens in the brood box.

  17. #17
    NC Beeman Guest

    Post

    Actually, you are all correct(except for the NC Bee Inspector). It just depends upon a lot of factors like: what style of honey are you trying to produce(comb or extracted), are you trying to get them to draw foundation, what kind of honey flow do you have in your area (short but heavy or long but light), how populous your colony is, have they swarmed, where is the brood in relation to the surplus honey supers, when do you need to get the honey off (as soon as its capped or at the end of the summer) etc.etc. Of course, the weather is always the biggest factor and it helps to be able to guess what it is going to do.

    If you are out for all of the honey that you can get, your flow is fast and furious, and you want to beat the competition to the fruit stands then you will probably want to use queen excluders and drawn comb for extracted honey production. One of the secrets to making lots of honey is to put the excluder and honey supers directly on the brood! That is where the bees like to store honey. If you look at a frame of brood in the top of the brood nest it almost always has a band of honey below the top bar. Sometimes its only in the corners of the frame but sometimes it is several inches wide. Sometimes the band is a shallow super and deep full of honey! If you don't move this old honey, it will act as a queen excluder and a honey excluder. Move it so that you can put the excluder and supers of drawn comb directly on top of the brood and almost all queenright colonies will go right through the excluder.

    If you don't use an excluder under the supers of drawn comb, I can almost guarantee you that she will move up and lay eggs. They will run her back down, but if the flow is fast and furious, and you want to beat the competition to market, you may have protein in your carbohydrate.

    At the other end of the scale, if the honeyflow comes on slowly and lasts all summer, and you are in no hurry to harvest it all, there would be little reason to use a queen excluder. If the queen lays in the honey supers, the bees will eventually run her back down when they consolidate the brood nest in the fall, and the brood will usually emerge before the honey is harvested.

    Of course we are just scratching the surface on this subject. We haven't even talked about what to do if you don't have any drawn comb, how different supering techniques affects excluder use, etc. Entire books have been written on this subject, and the debate will never end.

    I just hope that Bill Sheppard will get a truck with four wheel drive and quit ruining so many excluders!

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