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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Folsom, California, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    Hi All: Hope everyone is enjoying this epic spring weather we're experiencing. 91 degrees here in Folsom, CA today!

    Got my 4th swarm of the season (I've turned into the neighborhood bee-dude, everyone comes by if they've seen a swarm). Biggest one yet: size of two basketballs. No idea of the weight but my buddy's face turned crimson once the full weight of the cluster was on the box he was holding. Good times.

    Anyway, I read somewhere of people using queen excluders under the bottom hive box to keep the queen in and the new swarm from absconding. I haven't had a problem with the last three swarms but it seems like reasonable insurance - except if the queen hasn't mated yet. I'm not well versed on the finer points of a swarm - when does the queen mate during a swarm? AND, anyone have experience with using an excluder like I described?

    As always, thanks in advance for your answers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    noth Islan, New Zealand
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    Hi atay10r
    Am in a different country, but we often collect swarms (ours or others) when in kiwifruit pollination, and as a matter of course always take an excluder for under the bottom hive box, we always seem to keep those swarms, however sometimes on the field have not had a queen excluder with us and have not always had the same success. I understand that often it is the mated queen that leaves with the swarm, however if it was a second swarm she would be unmated. I would suggest removing the queen excluder after 4 days if you are worried. we usually leave them a few weeks but that is often cause we are to busy to get back before that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,440

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    The initial swarm from a colony contains the original queen. However, there can be multiple after swarms which usually contain virgins. Virgins are thinner for obvious reasons and some can get through an excluder but may not be able to get back in once she's mated.

    I think you're better off placing a brood frame in the hive with a fresh swarm. They rarely leave babies behind. If you don't have a brood frame then use a honey frame or even feed them syrup. Something to make them think this is a good deal if we stay here.
    Last edited by Charlie B; 04-23-2012 at 11:59 AM.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    I never use a queen excluder, and I don't add brood, All I put in the box is a couple frames drawn comb and two frames starter foundation. I can't remember when one has left. Just doesn't normally happen.

    cchoganjr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    995

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    I'm with Cleo. Unless there is something unattractive about the new quarters you have provided they almost never leave.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Folsom, California, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    Thanks for everyone's advice. Since I didn't have a spare excluder laying around, I went ahead and hived this new swarm without one. I did provide a top-feed jar and they're slowly drawing that down. Plenty of bees outside in front of the hive orienting today.

    I used two medium boxes and I think they're still a bit snug in there. It was a good-sized swarm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    The swarms I have caught this year I havnt used anything in the boxes except foundationless frames, and have not lost a swarm yet! I think the big thing is, dont disturb them after hiving them, for atleast a few days if not a week. If there is pollen/nectar going on, I dont think one has to feed them, which is the case of things right now. I am not feeding anything right now and things look good in the hives and the bees have been able to drawn comb and the queen is doing her job, and then some!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Using a queen excluder under bottom box with newly hived swarm?

    What if it's a virgin queen?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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