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Thread: Queen excluders

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    1. There really isn't a true honey flow on yet, so they aren't really looking for the need to grow and store
    2. You haven't given them a reason to move up.

    Either way, the reason/way to get them to move up is feeding.
    Feeding is not an option for me and certainly not spraying honey supers with sugar water is not an option.
    If Item #1 were true taking off the queen excluder would have made no difference. If you have to bait the bee to go through the excluder it clearly says to me that it is an obstruction that you have found a way to get around. In an other topic the obstruction characteristic of the excluder is use to create a soft barrier in a two queen hive. It is hard not to think of an excluder as an obstruction when it acts as an obstruction.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Ace's story is a classic example of a rookie mistake (no offense Ace), but this is one of the reasons that has led to such misunderstandings.

    My approach is different than theriverhawk's. First, I recommend to inexperienced beekeepers to never put an exlcuder under bare foundation. This is usually a setup for disappointment. What usually happens is that they have a single or double deep brood chamber and slap the excluder and a brand new box of foundation on top of the excluder. Often this is done too late in the season further complicating the issue. Depending on the situation bees may be very reluctant to start drawing comb and storing resources on this foundation. The obvious result is swarming. Instead, I recommend to those who want to use an excluder to simply place the box of bare foundation directly on top of the brood chamber WITHOUT the excluder. Check back in 4 to 5 days if still no action you can bait them up as theriverhawk suggests, or if running all the same size frames simply pull a couple of frames up into the super. It could also be that there's no flow. When you check again and bees are actively working the super (storing nectar or laying eggs), you can then install the excluder followed by an upper entrance. Of course check to see if the queen is above BEFORE placing the excluder on - if so then move her down below. Also, if the queen has laid eggs up top, be sure to check back in a few days for queen cells. You can throttle down the bottom entrance to gradually redirect traffic up through the top. However, I will also just close off the bottom after all the field force has returned for the evening and simply let them sort it out the next morning. Be sure to give them some sort of drone entrance in the lower boxes.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Chicken,
    It's 1:1(ish) in the spring. If I'm making it for just a couple of hives, I just take 1 qt jars, fill 1/2 or tad over 1/2 full with sugar then add really hot water to shake and mix. Honestly, alot of the time, I just put a pot of water on the stove and get it right to boiling. That way, when I add it to the jar of sugar, there is zero problem with the sugar dissolving. This may not be actual 1:1 but the bees take it well and they draw out comb, with it too.
    If I'm making big batch for feeding 10 or more hives, I actually do shoot for a real 1:1. I've got a 5 gallon bucket(from Home Depot) that actually has measurements on it. 3 1/2 gallons of sugar and then I fill and mix with boiling water until it hits the 5 gallon mark.
    As far as HBH, I just keep it to the label directions. 1 tsp per qt. Adds up to about 1/3 cup for 5 gallons. If I'm not using HBH, I'm probably going to make sure that the sugar to water ratio in qt jars is accurate 1:1. If my memory serves me correct, the jar should look more 3/4 full of sugar to melt down to 1:1. Honestly, I look at the HBH as an investment. It's, apparently, good for them and it keeps the sugar water from souring early. There are some that say you can put a small amount of bleach in your sugar water to keep it from souring. Do a search on here to find the ratio there. I've done it before. It works.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Feeding is not an option for me and certainly not spraying honey supers with sugar water is not an option.
    What's the objection to spraying bare foundation with a little sugar water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If you have to bait the bee to go through the excluder it clearly says to me that it is an obstruction that you have found a way to get around.
    Of course it does. The question is does this obstruction benefit the beekeeper? Some say yes and some say no. I say a resounding YES!



    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    In an other topic the obstruction characteristic of the excluder is use to create a soft barrier in a two queen hive. It is hard not to think of an excluder as an obstruction when it acts as an obstruction.
    Yes, it obstructs the queen (most times) exactly as it was designed.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Ace,
    Bees are not going to "go up" into or draw ANYTHING , excluder or no excluder, if there is not a flow or simulated flow. Yes, the excluder really isn't needed, yet, if there is not a flow on. But if the flow has started, the spraying will intice them to crank up a little early. Once they are up, and the flow is on, they will continue to use this upper box....especially if I offer them a top entrance.

    Ace, it is an obstruction. You dang right. It obstructs the queen from laying in honey supers. It is NOT a worker obstruction unless you make it/allow it to be one. As I said, if they aren't going up, then the flow is NOT on. At this point, there's really probably not a need for an excluder. I use it for insurance, to keep the queen down and from laying in the upper supers, fresh drawn or fully drawn.

    Look, just admit that you hate excluders and there's nothing anyone can say that will make it any other way. Those of us that use them are trying to give others our postive experiences with them and let them choose. My suggestion to all the "negative nancy's" is to just zip it after you've said, "I don't like them because I think my bees don't make as much honey". There's really nothing else to say after that except keep badgering and, thus, making those of us that use them defensive and, sometimes, angy.

    Now, back to the conversation....

    Actually, Astro's approach is a good suggestion. I just choose to not allow the queen to get the opportunity to start laying up there. Either way is fine really. One positive about Astro's approach is that once the queen lays a little up top, the bees will stay up there to "protect" the brood.
    I do tend to keep a frame or two of honey in my garage freezer for doing just what he was talking about. Another way of baiting them up. I'll put a frame or two up there, they move up and once they get cranking, I'll take those frames out and replace with undrawn for them to fill out. I also keep these frames around for when emergency feeding is needed.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    Look, just admit that you hate excluders and there's nothing anyone can say that will make it any other way. Those of us that use them are trying to give others our postive experiences with them and let them choose.
    Exactly, let them choose. You want a discussion where they can hear just your side. We have heard it. The problem is you want new people to believe that the "excluder" only creates an obstruction to the queen but then you are doing all these tricks to get the worker bee to go through the OBSTRUCTION. Is anyone saying it doesn't work for you? No. But some of us are saying it may not work for them, and this is why. I am sorry that makes you angry.
    I don't hate a piece of equipment. It can be used to confine a queen if that is your goal for what ever reason. Finding the queen is a good reason for me because I have a hard time with that. I don't need to find the queen to fill supers with honey.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Ace,
    But here's the deal...all you can say is, "I don't like them. Don't use them." It sounds like it bothers you that we are "manipulating" the bees to do what we want them to do successfully. It almost sounds a little jealous and maybe even childish the way you respond to our suggestions. Those of us that do use them can offer folks that are curious many different options as to how to get them to work to their advantage. I can show someone how to get them to draw foundation while still using an excluder and/or get them up and working drawn foundation. Astro has offered how to use them AFTER he gets the bees drawing the foundation in the super. Newbies are asking questions and we are showing them different options. You, my friend, are just trying to hammer everything we say to try to get the newbies to NOT use them. But you really don't offer them any legitimate reasons except the "honey exluder" comeback or a scare tactic of "you won't be able to get them to go through the excluder without manipulation"...heck, isn't manipulation all we do when we feed, split, checkerboard, etc....do I need to keep naming the ways we manipulate?????

    Again, for those that originally were asking and were curious...listen to those of us that are using them successfully. Try the options that we offer. If after you try them, and it's not for you, or you'd like to give it a try without an excluder, give her a shot!! I would encourage you newbies to ignore the poopy pants folks that think it's "Their way or the highway". There is no "correct way" to raise bees...heck, they really raise us if we want to be honest.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Exactly, let them choose. You want a discussion where they can hear just your side. We have heard it. The problem is you want new people to believe that the "excluder" only creates an obstruction to the queen but then you are doing all these tricks to get the worker bee to go through the OBSTRUCTION. Is anyone saying it doesn't work for you? No. But some of us are saying it may not work for them, and this is why. I am sorry that makes you angry.
    I've gone back...I can't find where you actually offer an actual "why" it may not work for them...We've heard your side. "Don't use them". What more is there to say? There's no why to offer except, "honey excluder, obstruction, blah blah blah..." Meanwhile, numerous folks can offer numerous different ways that they do work.

    New beekeepers...if you are curious about using exluders, my advice to you is EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT...use an excluder with top shim entrance on one hive. Keep another hive totally open. Just give it all a shot and determine which way works best for your bees, the amount of time you can spend with your bees, etc....

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    What's the objection to spraying bare foundation with a little sugar water?
    "I'm afraid it might work, I just hate excluders and I want to be closed minded..." Ace

    My quote there because it's actually how he portrays himself in regards to this issue...

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    How many frames of honey are you looking for when you go into winter?

    Zero. Honey is valuable. Fill them up with good feed. Make that super ALL full.

    Crazy ROland

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    You will get more honey without an excluder. You will get more bees without an excluder.
    Im really not that serious

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Mac....you can't say that unless you can prove it and, if my memory serves me, there's no actual documented proof of your statement. I had hives in my previous town that made more honey than close by friends' hives and they don't run excluders.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    You will get more honey without an excluder. You will get more bees without an excluder.
    In the 1980's I started using excluders for a couple of years and then stopped for a couple of years when I heard that I might get more honey without them. While not using them, basically I had to sort 1/2 frames of brood/honey out when I extracted (We don't have a fall flow). Then I used half and half for a couple of years. While I didn't count each bee, I couldn't see any difference in honey or hive size.

    I tried removing the excluder after a super was capped only to find brood in the bottom few inches when I pulled the supers to extract them. So now I use excluders on all honey producing hives.

    The comments above on how to use them are good. With drawn comb you can just put them back on above the excluder (especially wet) and they will have the wax repaired and ready to go in a couple of days. With foundation only, leave the excluder off for a couple of days until they start drawing wax and then add the excluder, after making sure that the queen isn't already up in the top box.

    I think that experience with flows is more important than experience with bees when talking about excluders. You need to know when flows are and how strong they are. Putting supers (or excluders) on too early to too late can complicate the situation. If inexperienced beekeepers don't try excluders just because they are inexperienced, how will they learn?

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    I would encourage you newbies to ignore the poopy pants folks that think it's "Their way or the highway".
    Hmmm, amazing what you say. I agree.
    I would encourage newbies to not take on too many manipulations to begin with. Two or three years down the road when you have learned the basics you can experiment to your hearts content. Beekeeping doesn't have to be hurried.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    Mac....you can't say that unless you can prove it and, if my memory serves me, there's no actual documented proof of your statement.
    Well I did say it. Let me remind you this is a forum for people to express their opinion. Opinions don't need proof that's why it's an opinion
    Im really not that serious

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Ace,
    I would, graciously, disagree with you. You have been allowed to share your opinion. We know what it is. "Newbies, don't use excluders." What I am uncomfortable with is that every time someone else shares how an excluder can be used, you chime in and knock their idea and method. The reality is that if we did provide a completely foolproof way of using the excluder, it's pretty obvious that you'd still not use it. That's fine. It's completely fine to say on here, "I don't like them because......" Just lay off of the others' responses that have worked or our responses to newbie questions That's my issue here on the forum.

    Mac...you're right, too. I wasn't saying, literally, "You are not allowed to say that." We are allowed to share our opinions. I'm ok with you disagreeing just as I am with Ace. But it's one thing to disagree. It's another to disagree based on evidence. If you share your opinion and we disagree, we are going to show/discuss where you may be wrong or ask you to back up this opinion. Just as with the past discussions with Ace on this topic, I'm ok with him having a different opinion. But be able to logically back up why you think my method is wrong with practices of your own. It's one thing to say, "I disagree". It's another be able to say, "I disagree and here is why because of what I have seen/experienced." I've seen where an excluder has made ZERO difference in honey gathering. I've had hives with excluders that had MORE honey than hives without. Have you worked hives enough to show the results that you believe? If so, share your stories of hives/yards that excluders hurt your honey production. That would give newbies things to think about because of your actual experiences. Instead, folks come on here and make blanket, unsupported statements like, "You will get more honey without excluders."

    Remember...the opinion of scientists years ago was that the earth of flat, too. How'd that turn out?

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by theriverhawk View Post
    Ace,
    But here's the deal...all you can say is, "I don't like them. Don't use them."
    When someone puts words in other people's mouth they discredit their argument. I never said anything of the kind.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I don't want brood in my honey supers because I don't use the same size boxes for hive bodies (to move those frames to) and don't want the off color frames.

    I've learned a nector flow and a strong colony is what is needed for the them to draw out foundation the best. So, when I put a super on that is new foundation I don't use an excluder, if at all, until after they have drawn out the center frames in the honey super.

    I use a honey barrier to help prevent the queen from moving into the honey super. Remembering bees work down during this time, I use an excluder only when there is no honey barrier and there are drawn frames in the super above the brood area where she might have a chance to move up. I pull the excluder off once there is honey in the middle of the super or I can move capped frames there to stop her.

    Or course if you find the queen moved into the honey super you can put her in a lower box, put an excluder on and then the brood will emerge from the honey super without the queen having access to the lay new eggs in the super.

    I've seen the queen move up past a thin honey barrier only once in my observation hive which is an eight frame. I don't harvest from the observation hive so no big deal. Now the frame has dark areas because of it. Not sure if that effects the honey or not.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  19. #59
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by MDS View Post
    Or course if you find the queen moved into the honey super you can put her in a lower box, put an excluder on and then the brood will emerge from the honey super without the queen having access to the lay new eggs in the super.
    As a newbie, I find this difficult to find the queen and catch the queen without killing her. Not that I have tried. I do own a queen catcher but I have read that queen catchers kill more queens than they catch.
    I am more than willing to experiment on riverhawk's hives so I could follow in his footsteps though.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Thanks everyone (Well, almost everyone) for your input on this thread. Obviously the use of queen excluders has it's purpose and if used correctly, depending on your needs, can be a valuable piece of equipment. Nice tips here I will refer to this summer.
    Lauri

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