wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2015
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    Hartford, CT
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    Default wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board

    For those of you successful with using the Snelgrove board for vertical splits, swarm management, or queen rearing, what's your "Go-To" type of queen excluder for your setup and why?

    Wood vs plastic vs metal....which should I choose for success?
    Thank you

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board

    I count myself as being quite successful using Snelgrove boards (for all three of your suggested uses), but I never use queen excluders in the process. I'm not sure where you think they'd be placed? Perhaps between the brood boxes of the lower section and the super over them but under the SB? They are only necessary for that use if you regularly run QEx under supers, otherwise they are not essential to using a SB itself. The SB does the section dividing which is what prompts the bees to raise a new queen (or otherwise act like a split colony.)

    That said, I have no use for the plastic ones for any reason. They are just gathering dust in my bee shop. I have several of the wood-bound and and equal number of the all-metal ones.

    The wood bound ones seem to better preserve bee-space between the boxes, but they do so at the cost of increased burr comb.

    I use them mostly as the bottom layer under a slatted board (my other find-no-real-use-for-so-I've repurposed-it piece of equipment) when I set up a landing place for boxes as I remove them from the stack. I never have open boxes off the stack, nor boxes set on end when I'm working. Every box is always set down on a temporary stack (and covered) while I delve into a lower one. My stacks are tall, multi-box ones, so this is an everyday occurrence for whenever I am working bees.

    My temp stack base consists of: (from top)

    Slatted rack, upside down to provide room for any comb protusions I don't want to deal with immediately, or queen cells)

    Queen excluder (because I've had queens walk out of colonies on my platforms and get close to my clumsy feet.)

    Temp base bottom which is a piece of plywood with furring strips screwed around three sides to make for a raised support under things so worker bees can go home, if they've a mind to.

    If I am doing something complicated like setting up a Snelgrove board where I will want to mix and match frames from multiple boxes before re-stacking I often have more than one temp stack set up, so I don't have to keep lifting things to access lower boxes. I find it's faster that way, and thus, less stressful for the bees.

    I also use Q Ex, occasionally, to divvy up a colony to help in finding a queen, or in shaker boxes if I'm desperate.

    The main difference is whether preservation of bee space between boxes at the point where the QEx inserted is important to you.

    Bonus tip: to make sure I never accidentally leave a QEx in the stack for longer than I mean to, the edges are painted a bright color so they stand out visually in the stack order. And wood edges make a bigger statement than the edges of a metal QEx.

    Nancy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    562

    Default

    I use both. Mostly the metal bound. But as Nancy says wood keeps better bee space.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    Default Re: wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board

    I've never used a Snelgrove Board in my life, and have never seen any reason to - but I do use divided Cloake Boards regularly for both queen-rearing and raising nucs, so FWIW ...

    I find metal wire QX's to be best for this job when cut-up and inserted into the board. Plastic works ok but isn't so easy to clean.

    I have a dozen wooden-framed wire QX's for general queen-rearing use - ideal for the job.

    If you need to keep the queen in one box but still allow both workers and drones to pass - consider using a plywood QX. Not a popular QX (as there's no profit to be made by the beekeeping supply houses from such a simple DIY design), and many people have never even heard of them - but they do work extremely well. Wouldn't use them to keep two queens apart though.

    Sorry can't help with the Snelgrove Board itself ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    1,788

    Default Re: wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board

    I have both and prefer the wood bound but they have one draw back, the space between the wood around the inside perimeter are great hiding places for shb. I've started adding a little caulk to close up the space.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Hartford, CT
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    33

    Default Re: wooden vs metal vs plastic queen excluders and Snelgrove Board

    Thank you; all been very helpful^!

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