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Thread: Queen excluders

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    jmgi, create a poll and see what results.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    HoneyHouseholder gets less honey when not using excluders, its that simple.

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    He is not saying the bees don't produce the honey he is saying he can't harvest it for human consumption.
    OK Ace, here is your earlier statement again:
    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I haven't heard one beekeeper except for you, suggest that it is used to increase honey yield.
    "Honey yield" is a reference to HARVEST, isn't it? Now lets look at Ron's earlier post ...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    For every excluder that fails it cost me about $100, because I can't harvest honey with brood in it.
    Seems clear to me ....

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Ace, HoneyHouseholder is a honey producer, meaning, he must harvest honey, or extract it from the comb to sell it. He doesn't harvest and extract as much honey when he doesn't use an excluder on each hive. It doesn't matter that the bees still produce honey and store it in the supers when no excluder is used, if there is brood in the supers, he can't harvest the honey when he needs to.

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    HoneyHouseholder gets less honey when not using excluders, its that simple.
    Well, not really. One needs to know the whole story behind how one manages hives for honey before we simply say it's all the excluder. There's more to it than that.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Create a poll and see what the results are. Be careful to define the goals. To be accurate it should be categorized based on how many years experience the beekeeper has. Define "honey yield". To me it means how much the bees produce to others it might mean how much honey they can sell. Not all beekeepers sell honey.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Define "honey yield".
    Define "honey" as well.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    We have all heard the numbers. Something like 2 million flowers to produce 4 pounds of nectar which is eventually reduced to 1 pound of honey.....or something like that. The point being that bees are incredibly busy and productive little creatures. One sashay through a wire excluder isn't going to slow them down much. Ever see an aggressive hive "boil" up through one? It's almost instantaneous. Or a robbing event where bees will exploit the tiniest crack like an invading army breaching a castle wall?
    What you do need to remember about excluders, though, is that it alters their behavior to a degree and certain rules should be followed. Hives need to be large enough to occupy the space both above and below the excluder, they need to be on a pretty active flow and ideally they should have at least some drawn comb above the excluder to entice them upwards if you are expecting to get foundation drawn out. If you don't follow these basic rules a smaller hive and/or a lighter flow will treat the excluder as a barrier and may well choose to begin backfilling the brood nest instead of moving through the excluder relegating a hive into a sort of shrinking death spiral with a lower chamber full of honey and virtually no brood or bees.
    Top entrances while not mandatory are indeed a good thing, allowing the bees easier access and more efficient dry down of nectar. Just be careful if initially putting on a lot of drawn/wet comb above an excluder because of the danger of robbing in the first hours after supering if there are top entrances and lots of large neighboring hives and the honeyflow has been disrupted because of the weather. It does take even a large hive an hour or so to adequately occupy and defend the space. Ideally you would not give the bees any sort of top entrance for a few hours or even days until things have settled down a bit. Follow these basic rules and remember that first and foremost to maximize the hoarding instinct of bees, they need both empty comb directly above the brood nest (excluder or no) and room for the queen to lay below the excluder. If the hives are large and growing and there is a flow in progress, everything else will take care of itself.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Barry, I was speaking specifically of HH here, this isn't just my opinion, it's what HH himself said. Producing honey for your complete livelihood is different than a sideline or hobby as I'm sure you know. When your running close to 1000 hives, those pounds of honey that you are unable to extract because of brood add up fast.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I never meant to imply that using QE's produce more honey, just that they were not necessarily honey excluders. Again, look to the Guinness Book of World Records if you think using them inhibits honey production... Using them may in certain instances, but for me personally, the benefit outweighs any loss.
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  11. #91
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Jim, As you said, a hive needs to be ready and able to deal with an excluder, and if they are, an excluder will do very little to slow them down going through it. I have not used them and used them, and I find them to be a useful tool to increase my honey harvest, not decrease it. Having brood in the supers when you want to extract is counterproductive. Sure, you can harvest frames with no brood and leave the frames that have brood in them. But then you either have to replace the frames you removed and/or start consolidating honey frames with brood in them, etc., just way too much extra work and time for a commercial operation. Now, for a hobbyist, taking the extra time to sort through everything to harvest some honey, that's fine.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by mleck View Post
    Is it necessary to always use queen excluders on each hive? I have some people tell me they do not use queen excluders but how do you keep them out of your supers?
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Question: Without a queen excluder how do you keep the queen out of the honey?

    Answer: The queen is not looking to lay all over the place. When you end up with brood in honey supers it's because one of two things has happened. Either the queen was looking for a place to lay some drone brood, which you didn't allow in the brood nest because of either culling it or using only worker foundation; or the queen needed to expand the brood nest or swarm. Would you rather they swarm? The bees want a consolidated brood nest. They don't want brood everywhere. Some people try to have some capped honey as their "queen excluder". I do the opposite. I try to get them to expand the brood nest as much as possible to keep them from swarming and to get a bigger force to gather the honey. So I add empty bars in the brood nest during prime swarm season.
    If you go back to the first and second post I will make an assumption that the OP does not have 1000 hives and MB gave the answer to his question.

    I could care less if someone wants to use a QE. As Jim L posted if you use one you better know the right time and place to use it because as MB stated it could back fire.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    I don't disagree with MB very often, but I do disagree to some extent that queens don't lay all over the place, because they do, and yes, maybe it is for some of the reasons he stated. I tried using a box of honey as an excluder instead of a queen excluder, and it failed in some instances, its not perfect. Everyone develops a beekeeping philosophy over time, MB chooses to let his bees have all the brood room they need rather than confine them with an excluder, if they happen to lay in a honey super, its no big deal for him, I'm sure he just harvests solid frames of honey around the frames of brood. He doesn't depend on bees for a living as far as I know, he has a day job.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Something that just came to me, this year when I was experimenting with not using excluders on a few hives, I had a hive in one yard that was a single deep and six mediums high around mid summer, no excluder. When I went to check to see what I could harvest, I found that every single box had some brood in it. The top 3 boxes had large patches of brood, mostly worker and a little drone, in about 2-3 frames in the center of every box, the rest of the frames were nearly all capped honey. I decided not to mess with extracting just the honey frames and leaving the brood, I figured I'll come back in about 3-4 weeks and by then the brood will be hatched and cells filled with honey. When I came back she had layed the same frames up with brood again, and there was even less honey left in the other frames that were originally nearly full. To make a long story short, I ended up not getting any honey off that hive, they ate it all. We had a dearth followed by a very poor fall flow. I figured I lost out on at least 125 lb. of honey because I didn't use an excluder. And to top it all off, the hive was dead as of about 2 weeks ago.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Oh, in case you are wondering, no the hive didn't starve out, it was mites.

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    >I don't disagree with MB very often, but I do disagree to some extent that queens don't lay all over the place, because they do, and yes, maybe it is for some of the reasons he stated. I tried using a box of honey as an excluder instead of a queen excluder, and it failed in some instances, its not perfect.

    A queen will cross any number of boxes of capped honey to meet her drone quota...

    >Everyone develops a beekeeping philosophy over time, MB chooses to let his bees have all the brood room they need rather than confine them with an excluder, if they happen to lay in a honey super, its no big deal for him, I'm sure he just harvests solid frames of honey around the frames of brood.

    Anymore I don't harvest until it's cold and there is no brood. I harvest by the box.

    >He doesn't depend on bees for a living as far as I know, he has a day job.

    I do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    This has been posted many times before, but perhaps our new folks would get some value at reading this:

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...oney-excluder/

    I simply can't imagine running more than just a few colonies without an excluder. I extract at least twice per season, and sometimes three times. Managing brood in the supers would absolutely bring that to a halt. Waiting to extract everything until it got cold would eliminate the marketing different seasonal varieties, which my customers strongly demand and allows me to charge a premium for the product. As mentioned above, QE's are really very easy for the bees to move through. Just take some time to observe how effortlessly bees move through them. As Jim mentioned above, this is a tool and like any other tool we use there are certain rules for its use. If you break these rules the bees will let you know, which I suspect has resulted in the total misnomer "honey excluder". I don't know if a QE will increase yield, but if used properly certainly will not reduce your yield. See the Jerry Hayes article above for a good summary of yields with and without QE's. I am completely certain that QE's result in a massive increase in efficiency when pulling honey.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Actually, if you read the Jerry Hayes POV, "Queen Excluder or Honey Excluder?". You will see their results to indicate that using queen excluders properly, produces both more honey and more brood/bees.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  19. #99
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    There was a time when I didn't use them, and just managed the brood in the supers, but I didn't have nearly the colonies that I do now. I can't see me going back to not using them again, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages imo.

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Queen excluders

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    You will see their results to indicate that using queen excluders properly, produces both more honey and more brood/bees.
    You're correct, but because of the relatively small number of colonies in the study the statistical variation probably doesn't result in a definitive "winner". The point I take away from the study is that QE's certainly don't hurt yields. That conclusion is also validated when I compare my yields to others in my area not running QE's.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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