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  1. #1
    Harold Guest

    Default Queen Excluder or not

    I am wondering if anyone out there uses a Queen excluder?
    When i do it seems to keep out the bees.
    When I don't I get a lot of brood in my honey suppers.
    There has to be a better way to do this.
    Thanks
    Harold

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,551

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    You may find this link to Michaels Bush's site useful:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    How many and what size boxes are you using for brood?
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  4. #4
    Harold Guest

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I am using 2 deeps for hive bodies and shallows for honey suppers.
    Harold

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I use a similar set up and do not see brood in my supers. I do not use queen excluders.

    One more thing that comes to mind is possibly you have supers on too early?
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  6. #6
    Harold Guest

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    That could be my problem .I put them on before the blackberry's bloom.
    Thanks.
    Harold

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    When I use front facing top entrances above the excluder I get mated virgins moving in the honey supers. How do you stop that?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    952

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I read somewhere that turning the QE sideways can help. There are gaps at the front and back where the queen can go through, but she normally won't because she doesn't usually venture to the very front or back of the frames. Never tried it though to see how well it works.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    If you're thinking of trying queen excluders, I recommend you read this POV article, queen excluders or honey excluders to discover the best way to use them.
    - + - + - +
    What happened to me, was that I discovered my hives were being devastatingly depopulated by local endemic desert toads. I realized that I needed to take drastic action to turn this around. I made myself some screened bottom boards (with no entrances). Next, I made some rims to use for creating upper entrances. I didn't think to add the excluders and drone/queen escape holes, until I read the POV article, referenced, above.
    * ^ * ^ * ^
    odfrank,
    I've only had that happen, once (so far). I do leave small entrance holes in all the supers beneath the excluder -- for drones and queen use.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Ive used them for years now. I dont have any data not useing them.

    I like not having to worry about brood in my honey supers.

    I do use an upper entrance above the excluder as well as a lower entrance below it. I do think it will lead to swarming issues if you dont watch the bottom boxes and make shure they have plenty of space below the excluder.

    After i have a full super of honey above it, i have removed it useing the honey super as a natural excluder. Ive been told (and somewhat experienced) that the queen will not cross the "honey barrier" to seek space above. but again, at that point you also risk swarming behavor if there isnt enough room in the brood box.(s)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I did not use queen excluders last year, and I did have brood in my honey super. Of the 10 frames in my super, I had brood in 4 of them. I found out that the bees won't leave that brood!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    When I use front facing top entrances above the excluder I get mated virgins moving in the honey supers. How do you stop that?
    Odfrank, have you been putting brood frames above the excluder with eggs or young larvae?

    I have seen queen cells started, but usually when there is at least a super in-between or they are not used to an excluder. The sudden drop in queen pheromone to the isolated nurse bees, even just for a few hours, can be enough for emergency queen cells to be started. Once queen cells are started they are often finished.

    Otherwise, as Roland said, it sounds like they have swarmed.

    Matthew Davey

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,718

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I have tried it both ways for the past couple years and I really can't see much difference in honey production. But, it is a lot easier to pull honey with excluders you can keep taking off boxes until you get down to the excluder. When I don't use excluders I sometimes have to leave the last super on to let the brood hatch out before I pull it off. This causes extra work. Now that I have started to move my hives a little more I'm going to use them on all of my hives so the hives will be the same size when I get ready to load them up.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Isaac Hopkins was a commercial beekeeper who later became the State Apiarist of New Zealand and he was quite eloquent on the matter. Here's what he had to say in The Australasian Bee Manual:

    “Queen Excluders... are very useful in queen rearing, and in uniting colonies; but for the purpose they are generally used, viz., for confining the queen to the lower hive through the honey season, I have no hesitation in condemning them. As I have gone into this question fully on a previous occasion, I will quote my remarks:—

    “The most important point to observe during the honey season in working to secure a maximum crop of honey is to keep down swarming, and the main factors to this end, as I have previously stated, are ample ventilation of the hives, and adequate working-room for the bees. When either or both these conditions are absent, swarming is bound to take place. The free ventilation of a hive containing a strong colony is not so easily secured in the height of the honey season, even under the best conditions, that we can afford to take liberties with it; and when the ventilating—space between the lower and upper boxes is more than half cut off by a queen-excluder, the interior becomes almost unbearable on hot days. The results under such circumstances are that a very large force of bees that should be out working are employed fanning-, both inside and out, and often a considerable part of the colony will be hanging outside the hive in enforced idleness until it is ready to swarm.

    "Another evil caused by queen-excluders, and tending to the same end—swarming—is that during a brisk honey-flow the bees will not readily travel through them to deposit their loads of surplus honey in the supers, but do store large quantities in the breeding-combs, and thus block the breeding-space. This is bad enough at any time, but the evil is accentuated when it occurs in the latter part of the season. A good queen gets the credit of laying from two to three thousand eggs per day: supposing she is blocked for a few days, and loses the opportunity of laying, say, from fifteen hundred to two thousand eggs each day, the colony would quickly dwindle down, especially as the average life of the bee in the honey season is only about six weeks.

    "For my part I care not where the queen lays—the more bees the more honey. If she lays in some of the super combs it can be readily rectified now and again by putting the brood below, and side combs of honey from the lower box above; some of the emerging brood also may be placed at the side of the upper box to give plenty of room below. I have seen excluders on in the latter part of the season, the queens idle for want of room, and very little brood in the hives, just at a time when it is of very great importance that there should be plenty of young bees emerging.”
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,550

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Keeping queens confined to the brood nest with an excluder is invaluable in controlling shb in your extracting facility. I also think (but dont have actual proof of this) that it keeps any issues with chemical residues in older brood combs from tainting any of your honey supers. A top entrance of some sort is probably a good idea if for no other reason than ventilation.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,726

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    "Another evil caused by queen-excluders, and tending to the same end—swarming—is that during a brisk honey-flow the bees will not readily travel through them to deposit their loads of surplus honey in the supers, but do store large quantities in the breeding-combs, and thus block the breeding-space. This is bad enough at any time, but the evil is accentuated when it occurs in the latter part of the season. A good queen gets the credit of laying from two to three thousand eggs per day: supposing she is blocked for a few days, and loses the opportunity of laying, say, from fifteen hundred to two thousand eggs each day, the colony would quickly dwindle down, especially as the average life of the bee in the honey season is only about six weeks.

    Just when I thought beesource was evolving on the whole excluder debate we're swept back into the primordial goo.... "Another evil..." that's a little dramatic. I guess if you call using a tool the wrong way "evil" then I'm good with the drama.

    Not sure how you where running your hives with excluders, but I have never seen problems with swarming. The key, as mentioned repeatedly in this thread, is the use of an upper entrance.

    Sure, if you put an excluder under bare foundation and no upper entrance swarming will certainly occur. There have been countless stories here about this usage, I feel, leading to the overwhelming confusion. But if I drive a nail with a screwdriver I'll likely gouge the wood - is that the screwdrivers fault? The QE is a tool, and like any tool there are right and wrong ways to use it. I use them on every production colony. My yields exceed the state average by a factor of 3 (conservatively) and beyond other local bee keepers in my area. I mark all production queens and keep good records so a swarming event will be discovered.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    West Paris Maine USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    try putting your queen excluder on sideways that should cut down the queen travel going up yet your workers should still go up

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I use an excluder until the first super has capped honey then remove it for the remaining supers above. If my first (lower super) is undrawn foundation I leave the excluder off until they start drawing the foundation out which starts with a heavy nector flow.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    tacoma, wa. usa
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    A question here.... I have read through this thread but am still a little confused on the swarming issue and ventilation. I am in the NW Washington area and it seems like a poor idea to "jog" the top super "back" a bee width as it would let in rain during an event. I have just put on a super with undeveloped comb (foundation only) and let it be for a week.... I am checking it today to see if they are crossing the excluder and have several drawn out frames that I will add to encourage them, our average temps are more like mid-70's to low 80's. When I set the super on, I also did a deep hive inspection, cleaned up all the frames and saw no evidence of intent to swarm....I could drill an entrance hole in the honey super and provide another entrance in lieu of jogging the box about.... comments please?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Contrary to the belief of some, bees do not melt in rainwater. Though most everything else does in the Pacific Northwest.

    I once lived in Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, for almost eight years, and kept a few hives the entire time I was there.

    If you create upper entrances, especially during heavy honey flows, you should discover, as I have, that most rainwater that infiltrates those openings, will form narrow channels that run down the inside (propolis-coated) hive walls, then down and out the bottom of the hive.

    Additionally, you may wish to preview this POV; "Queen Excluder or Honey Excluder?". Which describes a way to use queen excluders very successfully.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-05-2013 at 12:22 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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