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Thread: queen excluder

  1. #1
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    Default queen excluder

    How important is a queen excluder?? Fatbeeman says it takes something like 25% off the bees lifespan from repeat damage squeezing thru the excluder.. Is it necessary to keep the queen out of the supers or are they decent at keeping brood below the honey naturally?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    It's a tool. If and how you use it is up to you. If you don't use one it might be easier on your bees, and they might even make more honey. You also might have to carefully inspect every frame of honey to make sure that it doesn't have brood in it. You could use an excluder and configure entrances both above and below it so that all the foragers don't have to go through it.

    There are other uses for an excluder besides keeping brood out of the honey. You should probably get one and experiment with it and decide for yourself. Btw, don't believe that some bees won't go through one - they will if they need to. Anyway, it may or may not cost honey, or forager lifespan, but they do save work.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    I think you need one, not necessarily for the honey but it is a valuable tool as LaFerny said. I have a couple I don't use them for honey, you won't get as much. If brood get in my honey supers I just rotate supers wait until they hatch and then extract.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    I only use queen excluders when making splits. Excluders will sometimes delay the workers from starting on the supers above.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    >How important is a queen excluder??

    It's nice to have around now and then. I own ten or twelve. I have two hundred hives...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    Fair enough.. For the low cost i suppose one wont hurt to play with

  7. #7
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanger View Post
    it takes something like 25% off the bees lifespan from repeat damage squeezing thru the excluder
    I suggest that you question that "fact". Once you get an excluded place it on top of the brood chamber then observe how easy bees can pass through it. They seem to melt right through it. Perhaps specifications have changed of the years, but the Mann Lake excluders are very low restriction. And as mentioned it is a tool and if used to keep brood out of honey supers then it must be used properly and part of that is using upper entrances.

    Also, consider doing a search here as there is lots of info archived.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #8
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    I question any "fact" from anywhere online... Incase you missed it i brought the question here to question it... Yes, i understand bees can go thru it without a problem, the question was is it a necessary piece of equipment... As for doing a search, id rather ask if its all the same.. I search i might get an answer that was relevent 6 years ago which may not apply to today.. Alot can happen in half a decade

  9. #9
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    Isaac Hopkins was quite eloquent on the matter and here's what he had to say on the matter 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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: queen excluder

    Good read.. I intend to get an excluder, but after reading the responses intend to limit the use for sure

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