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  1. #1

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    I had some brood above the queen excluder in the honey supers when I put it on about 7/5. They are in a nice semicircular pattern in the middle several frames of the super. While I can't find the queen on these frames with perfunctory check, do I need to do anything about this like remove the excluder in case the queen is trapped about it? Or do I just wait this out for the brood to hatch and so that area of comb can be refilled with honey? These are on new hives that were just made this spring and otherwise appear to be in great shape.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    I will assume you mean a small amount of well developed brood? In which case you likely pulled up a couple of frames with eggs that went unnoticed at the time. You do not need to see the queen to figure out exactly where she might be, just locate eggs and young larvae and she is bound to be pretty close. If the queen is trapped below the excluder, then yes when this brood above the excluder finally hatches the bees will refil this with honey or pollen. The fact that these small patches were used for brood will slightly darken the wax and any honey collected there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

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    Jill,
    The honeybee colony broodnest moves up for the first half of the season till a honey cap is formed. The queen generally will not cross this cap once formed. If the honey cap is removed, the bees will attempt to replace it.

    This is why, in early May some beekeepers will move up the broodnest so that eggs and young larvae are at the upmost portion of top brood box, the eggs will draw the queen up also. This encourages the bees up into the supers, because they want to rebuild the cap that is no longer there.

    But occasionally the queen, due to the fecundity of the broodnest at this early time of year, will move up into the supers also, which is why some beekeepers use an excluder for the early part of the season.

    For PA, upward movement tends to slow around mid to late May when strong nectar flows start to force the broodnest down. For this reason, if you prefer to use an excluder, I highly recommend that it be removed by June to mid June for they are not needed in the late season. If there is capped brood in the supers, donÂ’t worry about it, because when it hatches it will likely be filled with stores. Hope this helps.
    Best Wishes,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Loomis, CA USA
    Posts
    7

    Post

    Ummm... If the queen excluder has been in place since the super went on, and is still in place, and you have brood in the super, the queen is in the super also (or you have a defective excluder). She will continue to fill your super with brood unless you get her out of there. I would take the excluder out and smoke vigorously to drive the bees down and then go through the super carefully to ensure that she isn't in there, then replace the excluder. If you're still getting eggs in the super, you have a defective excluder, or laying workers.
    Consider going without the excluder (as it doesn't seem to be helping you anyway...)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Check to see if you have eggs below the excluder. Look for eggs above the excluder. (while you're at it look for the queen too. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Probably she slipped through the excluder. Maybe you smoked them a bit too much and she fled through the excluder. Maybe she's just a bit skinnier than most queens. Maybe you have a bent wire. Since the queen usually doesn't WANT to move out of the area of the established brood nest, I'm guessing it was too much smoke.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6

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    Thanks all for your help! Keep you posted!

  7. #7

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    Well, I decided the most straight forward thing to do was take the excluder off and let the queen, if she was above it instead of below, get back down to her broodnest. Next year, the excluder is going on earlier, as Naturebee suggested. We'll see how it goes.

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