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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Whatcom County Wa.
    Posts
    14

    Default Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I set a queen excluder under the super. Some folks don't use them. What are the pros and cons. Should I try without it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I took off excluders mid summer last year and my honey harvest increased, along with bee population. I know I've prevented swarming. Here in S. Fla, excluder over the deep is common. I can't watch my hives that close so I took them off after having too many swarms last spring.

    I like everything about not using excluders except one thing--more boxes to search for queen.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    Pros:
    *Keeps queen 95% of the time from being able to lay eggs in the super(s)...useful if you're trying to make cut-comb honey, or chunk honey


    Cons:
    *Sometimes workers will refuse to, or be reluctant to, cross the excluder, resulting in reduced honey production, and possibly some backfilling of the brood area with honey even before the super is filled.
    *Prevents the super from being used as an "overflow area" for the bees to expand their brood nest when they feel the need; this may also increase the risk of swarming.
    *If left on during the winter, the queen may become trapped below the excluder & die, due to the rest of the cluster moving above the excluder to feed on the stores in the super.

    Personally, I'd recommend against using one, unless you're trying to harvest comb/chunk honey...OR unless you're trying to run a commercial operation. In a commercial operation, it may be less costly to profits to not have to wait for brood to emerge when you're ready to pull honey supers, and take other precautions against swarming etc... But, IMHO, for hobbyist & sideliner beeks, it's easier to forgo the excluder, with its hazards, and just work around any frames that may have brood in them until the broodnest shrinks back down into a lower box, and the cells are filled in with honey stores.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I have always used queen excluders, but I continue to wonder if it's the best way with all the problems that it seems to present to the bees. I keep reading that the bees natural tendency is to move up. Then I read that the bees will move back down in the brood box after they feel room isn't an issue. So what is right? I would have no real problem with the queen laying some in the super if she would move back down in the brood box when room became available. With cut comb supers obviously you have an additional interest in not letting brood reach that super. Any explanation and comments on these issues would be welcome. Thanks--Kilnrat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    Excluders have their uses - mouse guard in the winter when placed below bottom box, temporary use during hive splits and combines, etc. I have never used one as a permanent part of a hive set-up.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Russellville, AL
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I had 2 hives last year for honey. Both are (were) Minn Hyg. Ital. 1 took to the excluder great and made 3-4 supers honey. the other did not so i removed the excluder. They still did not make much honey. So really not a good test , maybe a bad queen. Funny thing is she moved up into the honey supers and made a larg brood nest. Why she did this i have no idea.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I let the hive performance determine whether I use an excluder. My set up is 1 deep and a medium. When I place an excluder over the medium, I will pull one frame from it and replace it with an empty frame either and put the one I pulled in the new super. This sometimes entices the bees to come up. I will check back in a day or so and if the bees haven't moved up or if there are just a few bees in the super above the excluder then I will remove the excluder. This is how I do it and it is seems to work fine. As some one once told me, "There are those who swear by the excluder and some who swear at the excluder."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    I prefix this with saying I've plenty of drawn comb. I do use excluders and like them. I don't like pulling supers with brood in them and don't mind that the honey supers have had brood raised in them at some point in time.

    Prior to placing supers, I move most brood above the excluder (leaving the queen behind) and replace with drawn comb. This gives the queen plenty of room to lay. I also have top entrances in addition to a relatively small bottom entrance (I just reduce the entrance on the BB). I remove the excluders for the winter. I run mostly double deeps with some a deep and medium.

    Remember the Guinness book of world records for honey production for a single hive used an excluder.

    To each his own, you just need to find what works for you.
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    "Plenty of drawn comb" - it seems to me that it's hard to get them to build comb above an excluder in the usual configuration. It also seems that bees that "grow up" going through an excluder are more accepting of it. My experience using them is pretty limited though. It sure would be nice to have one less thing to worry about when pulling honey though. I might try Joseph Clemmens trick of having the main entrance just above the excluder next year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,237

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    "Plenty of drawn comb" - it seems to me that it's hard to get them to build comb above an excluder in the usual configuration.
    Yes, it sometimes is difficult to get them to build comb above an excluder, but I'm fortunate enough at this stage to have a good supply of drawn comb and I'm basically in the "replacement" stage on comb building. That is pulling the old comb and replacing it with foundation. I usually place the foundation between brood combs or between capped honey supers. When I replace comb, since I use all plastic, I just scrape the old wax off and I'm back to foundation................
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Whatcom County Wa.
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    These are supers with new foundation, no comb built yet as last year I didn't put them on at all. I'll check them soon and see if I should leave them or take off. So if some brood does end up in the honey super thats not a problem?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainboy View Post
    So if some brood does end up in the honey super that's not a problem?
    As long as you're not trying to harvest cut comb, then simply wait for the brood to emerge & the bees to backfill those cells with honey...then harvest as usual

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: Queen Excluder : yes or no

    If it is new foundation, it is best to start without an excluder until they have started drawing out a couple of frames. Then you can shake the bees off (or make sure that the queen isn't in the box) and then add the excluder. After going without excluders for a few years on some hives, I now always use them. But it is a management decision that you will have to make yourself.

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