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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
    5,981

    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
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    This subject has been covered in a previous thread, you may wish to search for it. that said:

    We use a single deep brood chamber, deep supers, an excluder, and see no evidence that the bees are reluctant to cross it. It helps however, to have strong hives. i can not imagine not using one.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chittenango,Ny (upstate)
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I use excluders on all my hives and dont think I have any problems with honey production. If your having trouble getting the bees to cross the excluder you can wait a couple days for them to stat working the supers then put it on. I got tired of haveing brood in the honey supers and also wax moths were more of a problem in stored honey supers if they have had brood in them

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    If you are having problems with brood in your honey supers, a queen excluder will help. However, you must really use drawn comb above the excluder, at least to start, or the bees can be reluctant to cross it to draw foundation.

    Is that brood mostly (or all) drone? If so, I would suggest a couple foundationless frames toward the outside of the bottom box. The bees will draw a bunch of drone comb, and raise drones there when they want them (typically early spring when they make a large crop and then sporadically through the rest of the summer) and they will not build drone comb in the honey supers. You can use the green drone comb, too -- the bees will use it for storage when they are not making drones.

    Some people have much more trouble than others (or maybe I should say some bees make a lot more brood in honey supers than other). We have had only a single row, at most two, in the center of the combs in the bottom honey super, never more than that.

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Roland didn't mention that he uses a main entrance directly above the excluder. This is important.

    I don't usually use excluders, but have been trying TOP entrances this season and (due to discussion's with Roland) have tried using an excluder with them. The top entrance as the MAIN entrance makes a huge difference!

    An excluder works much better when you have both a top AND bottom entrance. My top entrances are right at the top of the hive. Also, it may work better to start with only a top entrance a week or two before you put on the excluder, so that this is used as the main entrance.

    I would recommend a bottom entrance of 1/2 inch most of the time, and no wider than 1 inch (unless you have temperatures above 35C/95F). I have found that bearding in hot weather has stopped, with having both entrances. The fanners go to the bottom entrance and draw air down through the hive and out the bottom. The evaporation from the nectar helps to cool the hive, with the wettest nectar at the top, air is drawn down. So the foragers come and go in the top entrance without having to dodge fanning bees. We've had temperatures of 40C/104F and looking at the top entrance, you wouldn't even think they were hot. (I did open the bottom entrance to a couple of inches on these days.)

    The main thing is that the bees store less nectar in the brood nest and more above the excluder! This helps to reduce backfilling of the brood nest, therefore reducing conditions for swarm preparation as well.

    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 01-28-2013 at 05:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I plan on using one this year for honey production just to experiement with it. Last year the honey was broodless.
    I do use one for swarm calls to exclude the queen(s).
    I have seen on (youtube) as many as 5 queens from a single swarm. Personally, I had 2 queens in a single swarm.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,861

    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?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,325

    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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    495

    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)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    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!!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    We ran w/o excluders for 10 years then got tired of dealing with brood in honey supers since we extract several times through the year. We added supers and an upper entrance (jog the 2nd honey super back 1/4 inch) and find it works exceptionally well for us. We also like the fact the bees seem to take a little more of the late summer flow and make big bands above the cluster filling it in as brood dwindles and space opens. I think we winter better as a result of earlier season honey stores in the brood chamber.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Joel, what do you mean that you "jog the 2nd honey super back 1/4"? That wouldn't be enough to open up an entrance, so what is the purpose? Thanks for explaining this to a rookie!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Matt Davey said:

    The main thing is that the bees store less nectar in the brood nest and more above the excluder! This helps to reduce backfilling of the brood nest, therefore reducing conditions for swarm preparation as well.


    I concure.

    I neglected to speak of upper entrances. We also set back every super one bee space to form upper entrances. Be sure to close them back up before fall to prevent robbing.

    OdFrank - better swarm control might prevent your virgin problem, otherwise put an excluder between each box, and the next round you will know where the queen is.

    Crazy Roland

  20. #20
    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

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