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  1. #21
    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

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,688

    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.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    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

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,442

    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

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,654

    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/

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,728

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Astrobee - could it be that those that condemn excluders are not as adept at managing a hive(swarm, population), as those that see them as a tool? This seems to be a recurrent pattern, those that claim to have more productive , populace hives, seem to have fewer issues with excluders, whereas those that have problems with hive management, swarming, and building populations, seem to blame excluders..... Or I just might be crazy.

    Crazy Roland

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,654

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Roland,

    Glad you mentioned that, because I was thinking exactly the same thing. I've been struggling with what is at the root of this huge debate, and you've probably identified a big component. Its that, or simply beekeepers just like to argue...maybe we should start a new thread....
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    >"Another evil..." that's a little dramatic

    It's just the writing style of the 19th Century which is when Isaac Hopkins first wrote that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,728

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Another component is the structure of the hive. We run a single deep brood chamber. If they are given more room than that, they have less reason to expand across an excluder. With a double deep brood chamber, there is alot of room in the corners to hide honey and not cross an excluder, especially if not heavily populated.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,654

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    We run a single deep brood chamber.
    Hmmm, so do I.

    I must be crazy too.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    We run a single deep brood chamber.
    We also run single deeps in the business operation.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    I was thinking about running a few of my hives with QE's this year. Gleaned some great info from the discourse. Will give it a go on a few and see what happens. Haven't had too many problems with brood in my honey frames, but it will be interesting to see how things progress vs hives in the same yard sans QE. I run all mediums and foundationless.

  13. #33
    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!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    tacoma, wa. usa
    Posts
    169

    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?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,400

    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 11:22 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,316

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    > I could drill an entrance hole in the honey super and provide another entrance in lieu of jogging the box about...

    You could also use a "migratory" lid (can be as simple as a piece of plywood) and two shims. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Take a look at the photos.

    I'm a former Washington resident, although I didn't have bees when I lived there. If your bees are in Tacoma, it doesn't get that cold. A simple migratory lid will retain adequate heat in the winter.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    Another component is the structure of the hive. We run a single deep brood chamber. If they are given more room than that, they have less reason to expand across an excluder.
    I'm curious about one thing, making notes from tidbits here and there. Do you move capped brood above the excluder and cycle empty combs back down to the brood chamber at all ? Or do you just leave them in the bottom super ?

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    When I run hives, similar to the description in the Jerry Hayes POV. Like they did, I find that the bees put very little nectar/honey into the brood nest, leaving most of the cells open for brood. I run primarily 8-frame medium supers for all purposes and have found that I can use only two of these supers for my brood nest. Several times I added a third 8-frame medium super to the brood nest area, either on top, in the middle, or beneath, but every time I had those three supers for the brood nest, the bees quickly filled the uppermost brood super with nectar, so I realized I would need to stick with using just two supers for brood, or find another way to get the bees to use more area for brood. It's in my mental catalog to continue investigating to see if I can find a way to get more brood supers into use by the bees, but for now that project is on hold. After all, the two brood supers do work well.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    tacoma, wa. usa
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > I could drill an entrance hole in the honey super and provide another entrance in lieu of jogging the box about...

    You could also use a "migratory" lid (can be as simple as a piece of plywood) and two shims. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopentrance.htm
    Take a look at the photos.

    I'm a former Washington resident, although I didn't have bees when I lived there. If your bees are in Tacoma, it doesn't get that cold. A simple migratory lid will retain adequate heat in the winter.
    Thanks for the link...interesting read. I checked my hive and found about 2-300 bee's had moved up into the honey super with the excluder in normal orientation and were scattered over the foundation, but not a lot of wax building going on. I dropped in two drawn frames that they can work on and clean up and hopefully it will give them a jump start....I offset the honey super a bee width based on these suggestions and turned the excluder 90 degree's....we'll see how they do.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,896

    Default Re: Queen Excluder or not

    The POV that Joseph Clemens pointed out above is a very interesting read, in fact it is what spurred me to experiment with excluders and upper entrances this season. I think that those that have not had success with excluders used them in combination with bottom entrances, and although I have had success with them that way, I am having even better success using excluders paired with the upper entrance and no bottom entrance except for a small drone escape. Think about it for a minute, if your hive only has an upper entrance, then the incoming bees, especially those with nectar do not have to cross the excluder to deposit their load, or even if they give up their load to a house bee, it in turn does not have to cross it to store it away. Sure, some nectar must go below the excluder into the brood chamber for brood food, but the vast majority does not have to do so, and gets stored in the supers above the excluder. I have noticed less honey in the brood nest and much more in the supers when using excluders and upper entrances. John

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