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Thread: Queen excluders

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    East Windsor, CT
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    Default Queen excluders

    I have a ton of brood in my supers since I left a super on each hive due to them being light in the fall. I need to get the queen out of there and I was wondering your thoughts on putting an excluder on this early in the year. I have been reading from Walt Wright saying that the queen excluder gives the bees the idea that the overhead storage is where the excluder is, (if I understood him correctly). I am hoping though that since there is brood in the supers that it will not have this effect. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    >I have a ton of brood in my supers since I left a super on each hive due to them being light in the fall. I need to get the queen out of there

    Why?

    >and I was wondering your thoughts on putting an excluder on this early in the year.

    I wouldn't use one at all. They will push her down by storing honey there eventually and then she will move down.

    > I have been reading from Walt Wright saying that the queen excluder gives the bees the idea that the overhead storage is where the excluder is, (if I understood him correctly). I am hoping though that since there is brood in the supers that it will not have this effect.

    Assuming you catch the queen and put her below an excluder with brood above it, they will most likely rear a queen above the excluder and you'll end up with one who CAN'T leave the supers and one who can't get to the supers. Which, I don't think was the effect you were looking for...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Tigard, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    You left on the supers to ensure enough food to overwinter your bees. Having brood up there shows you made the right decision--the bees went up there to find food and stayed to raise a lot of brood. Good call! Now let the bees do their thing this season. My experience is that they will crowd out the queen and fill up the supers with nectar when the main flow begins. You don't need the excluder til then, and it may become unneeded after that.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I agree, the bees will push her down...but as they start to backfill that brood area in the supers will they look at that as crowding and thus have her laying reduced and start swarm preparations? I just do not want her to slow down her laying this early in the year. Also, from the stand point of providing extra storage space to stimulate foraging, would supers with brood in them have the same effect? Thanks for everyone's advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I have more questions than answers.
    Could you add another super between the two boxes?
    Would that then give the queen room and prevent swarm preparations by having open brood nest and give them super room at the same time?
    Or will that confine the queen to the upper super by having too much open comb between the original two boxes?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Campbell Co, KY, USA
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    44

    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosherd1 View Post
    I agree, the bees will push her down...but as they start to backfill that brood area in the supers will they look at that as crowding and thus have her laying reduced and start swarm preparations? !
    Good question Mosherd1. Thanks for your post. Sorry I don't have any advice, but this has been on my mind since my hive inspections yesterday.

    I wintered my two hives with 4 mediums each. In early April the queens were laying in the top medium on each. As an experiment I rotated the boxes on one hive and left the other as it was. Also added another medium to each with new foundation.

    Yesterday I did a complete inspection and find the hive that was not rotated had about 10 swarm cells in the 3rd and 4th medium and none of the new foundation had been drawn. The one I did rotate had no swarm cells and they've made considerable progress on the new foundation.

    These two hives are exact same configuration and right next to one another. So, I'm wondering...Coincidence? Or did I have the conditions you've described in the one I did not rotate?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I ended up putting the queen back in the brood chamber and putting on a queen excluder. My thinking is that since the bees are already going to need to pass through the excluder to tend to the brood that it may stop their reluctance of passing. I could be wrong but I am not anticupating queen cells above the excluder because it would be no different than having brood in the supers and putting the queen in the lower chamber manually. The pheromones can still pass through the excluder as the bees move up and down. The goal is that in 21 days when the final bees emerge from the super they will backfill that with honey. Of course I will need to install an upper entrance to allow the drones to get out since they will not be able to pass through the excluder.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    >I could be wrong but I am not anticupating queen cells above the excluder because it would be no different than having brood in the supers and putting the queen in the lower chamber manually. The pheromones can still pass through the excluder as the bees move up and down.

    It's a nice theory, but 9 times out of ten I've seen them raise a queen on the other side of the excluder, so I would anticipate that they will.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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