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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
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    13

    Post

    Whats your view on this do you use an Excluder.
    This question has me up a wall.
    everyone i ask gives me a different answer.

    Thanks for answering this newbees question.

    Ray

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,419

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    >Whats your view on this do you use an Excluder.

    Usually no. Sometimes, yes. If I have a good reason to want to limit the queen I use one. Since I use all the same size boxes and since I'm not using any chemicals, I don't need a distinct line between the brood nest and the supers. If the queen needed more room, I'd rather she can get it than have them swarm. Also, I'd rather the bees were constantly squeezing through the excluder wearing out their wings.

    When I'm regressing I often use one so I can move some of the capped brood out of the brood nest and replace it with some empty 4.9mm foundation for them to draw or some wax coated PermaComb and not have to worry about the queen moving up and laying in the large cell that I'm trying to cull out.

    >This question has me up a wall.
    everyone i ask gives me a different answer.
    Thanks for answering this newbees question.

    It won't hurt either way. The bees will adapt to it if you use it and won't miss it if you don't. Buy the excluder. Use it if the queen starts laying in the supers. Don't worry, be happy. The bees won't lose any sleep over it either way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    I know I do not want to be without a queen excluder. It has many uses besides keeping the queen out of the honey supers. My father kept bees years ago before the mites. When my packages came he helped install them. He told me to place the queen excluder under the hive to keep them from leaveing the hive before they got going(they were left on about 2 weeks). I like MB am using all mediums because of a bad back and interchangable. I do not plan on leaving the excluder on the hive as if the queen starts laying in the next box up I can rotate the boxes and put her back on the bottom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

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    If you do want to use one, make sure you have a top entrance above the excluder. It will keep from any damage from bees going through the excluder. It will also cut down the amount of bees traveling the brood chamber as they return. Also cutting down the swarm urge as congestion in the brood chamber will be less.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,479

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    The excluder is probably the biggest time saver in my beekeeping operation. No more worries about brood in the supers and blowing the queen out. Keep the queen down and make her use the space given to her.
    Also by eliminating the chance of brood in the supers, it reduces the spread of AFB throughout the beekeeping operation to a certain extent.
    To me the excluder is a tool that I have adapted to and I would never go without.
    Is it a honey excluder, well, I dont think so, but that is a topic of heated debate amoung users and none users. Right now my hives are pushing 200lbs/hive overall average with the excluder.


    Ian

    [This message has been edited by Ian (edited February 17, 2004).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    521

    Post

    I do use queen excluders, and have been doing so the past 10 years. I have averaged 180 lbs. of honey per hive using them, so I would not consider them to be a "honey excluder". Some other points for further consideration/discussion: when using fume boards, it is more difficult to get bees to leave the super if brood is present (at the same time it is more difficult to drive bees through an excluder); brood in honey supers obviously produces dark comb over time (correlation between dark comb and darker honey?); if a super is pulled off with a substantial amount of capped brood and is not extracted for several days (and kept warm), you will come back to a box full of bees.

    One major hassle of using excluders is how to clean them at the end of the season. Any comments and/or ideas?

    Also, has anyone used the new plastic queen excluder from Betterbee? They are advertised to allow easier bee access and easy cleaning (put them in a freezer and then twist to pop off the wax). I bought some of them and will be trying them this Summer.

    ------------------
    Gregg Stewart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Eagle Creek, Oregon
    Posts
    289

    Post

    I can't find the source right now, but somewhere I read about turning the excluder 1/4 turn and then centering it on the hive. IIRC the theory was that the workers could go around the ends of the excluder unimpeded but the queen, who travels through the center of the brood nest, would still be excluded. This obviously would not work with a wood framed excluder. Comments?

    George

    P.S. Remember, everything I "know" about bees comes from reading, I have not yet taken delivery of my first bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

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    >I can't find the source right now, but somewhere I read about turning the excluder 1/4 turn and then centering it on the hive. IIRC the theory was that the workers could go around the ends of the excluder unimpeded but the queen, who travels through the center of the brood nest, would still be excluded. This obviously would not work with a wood framed excluder. Comments?
    George

    I use excluders for a variety of things. I didn't invent these terms, but I will explain them. One use is as a includer as mentioned above. You put it under the box when installing a swarm or a package or a shakedown so the queen can't leave the hive. I call this a "Queen Includer"

    Another is on top of the brood nest to keep the queen out of the supers. This is a "Queen Excluder"

    Another is, as you describe and this is a "Queen discourager". The queen CAN and sometimes WILL go around it, but she tends to stay below it. My guess is if she insists on laying above it it's because she's out of room in the brood nest and this is better than swarming.

    Another reason she will lay in the supers is because she found some drone cells and wasn't able to satisfy her need to lay drones in the brood nest.

    I also agree with Bjorn, if you have an upper entrance it will cut down on traffic through the brood nest and therefore through the excluder.

    It is correct that bees will not leave brood. If you ever have a bee escape on and the workers won't leave, look for brood in the supers.

    It will not be a disaster to use or not use an excluder. Try it both ways and see what you think.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Post

    I have mentioned turning the excluder many times in the past. Not my original idea though as someone years ago suggested it to me.

    I have two type of plastic excluder bought through the years or acquired somehow. One is a BRIGHT white plastic, very thin, and is the one best for turning for leaving the ends open for the bees.
    The last ones I bought were more thicker, about 3/16", more of a clearer type plastic (although still white) and much more firm. These do not do as well as the gap it creates is much larger.

    I'll try to figure the correct ones, but all the pictures for plastic excluders look about the same in all the mags. Maybe someone else knows of the two differences I'm mentioning above and knows which excluder comes from which company.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    13

    Post

    I went and boughgt 2 from the guy i bought my boxes from and also bought a nuc of bees lol for 20 bucks .
    He took it to where he runs a wood yard and sold 3 frames out of it which left one.
    He had left it there since last summer.
    he siad it was in the afternoon when he sold the frames from it and the field bees came back and raised them a queen and build
    comb in the place where he pulled the frames
    so he sold me the nuc for 20.00 dollars .

    What luck huh??
    Ray

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Post

    >I went and boughgt 2 from the guy i bought my boxes from and also bought a nuc of bees lol for 20 bucks .
    He took it to where he runs a wood yard and sold 3 frames out of it which left one.
    He had left it there since last summer.
    he siad it was in the afternoon when he sold the frames from it and the field bees came back and raised them a queen and build
    comb in the place where he pulled the frames
    so he sold me the nuc for 20.00 dollars .
    What luck huh??

    Cheaper than a package of bees. So were empty frames put in to repalace the pulled frames? Or is there comb hanging from the lid?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Cleaning excluders:
    I haven't had to do this yet, but I read somewhere of a b.keeper who planned to build a solar wax melter large enough to stack in 6 excluders to let the sun clean them.
    waya

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    13

    Post

    +the comb was stuck to the lid but from opening the nuc broke it loose and they attached it to the sides. i am going to block off part of the bottom of a deep brood box and set it on top of the nuc and let them work up into the deep. and then in a couple weeks pull the nuc out and tie the wild comb into frames its as straight as the one frame that was left in the box.

    ray

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Post

    >+the comb was stuck to the lid but from opening the nuc broke it loose and they attached it to the sides. i am going to block off part of the bottom of a deep brood box and set it on top of the nuc and let them work up into the deep. and then in a couple weeks pull the nuc out and tie the wild comb into frames its as straight as the one frame that was left in the box.

    Or you could just cut and tie right now and be done with the nuc. Sounds like a good plan either way.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    Cleaning excluders:

    Mann-Lakes' solar wax melter is large enough to fit excluders in. I've got several that I'm patiently waiting (for sun) to clean this way. I'd say you could get 15 or so all-metal excluders in at a time.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Rayvin:

    Good Plan. If you block off any outside entrance into the nuc and make the only entrance the one into the deep you place above the nuc the bees will clean out the comb below and move everything into the top body. They do not like to store honey or raise brood below the entrance, so they will clean out the nuc. When that is done you will have one clean frame of comb and the empty wild wax.

    This is a good way to transfer an old cross-combed hive into a new one--or was when hives could survive untended. Walter Kelley described this as his method of moving bees from bee gums to modern hives.

    In time it might prove to be a good way to establish new Langstroth hives or nucs from TBH's too.
    Ox

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Or the reverse, put a nuc below a TBH to get em to move up.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
    Posts
    491

    Post

    LOL, Scott:
    I thought of this, but to do that you would have to have a TBH with a hole in the bottom and I cannot stand the thought of cutting a hole in the bottom of one of my brand new TBH's!!!!!

    Honestly though, it is a great idea. I might just build a very small TBH of the size to cover a nuc and with the same bar length as the hives I want to fill. Set the nuc and transfer hive on the site the TBH will occupy, let the bees move into the transfer hive. When inspection shows the nuc is empty move the thing over, put the TBH in place and the combs from the transfer hive into the full sized TBH. Transfer completed.

    I once built a box hive of the "bee gum" sort as used by the old timers. By summers end it was completely full of bees, brood and honey, but all you could get was the honey you could reach from the top, a mess. I moved it to a langstroth hive using the method described, had a box full of empty comb to render.
    Ox

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