Queen excluder on bottom?
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2016
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    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
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    Default

    Just curious, could you just put a queen excluder on the bottom of the first box with no top entrance to keep them from swarming? Ive always been good at preventing swarms but had this random thought and didnt see any old posts when I searched.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Santa Cruz, CA
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    Yup, some people do this on new package installs to keep them from absconding. A laying queen will not fit through a queen excluder...

    HOWEVER, in preparation for swarming your queen will stop laying eggs, consume less food, and shrink in size in preparation for flying with the swarm. As such, it's very likely she'll slip right through a queen excluder. For that reason alone it's not a very commonly practiced tactic as it's not guaranteed to work.

    Best bet is more commonly practiced, traditional methods.

  4. #3
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    Drones will also be a problem.
    Frank

  5. #4
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    For an established hive, virgin queens can escape. Say your hive lost the queen and the virgins go off mating. Do you want to risk that she can't get back in? It can work great the first few days you install a new package or new queen. I forgot to put one under the bottom box when I added a purchased queen last year. As soon as she got out, they absconded. The is good money flying away.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Drones will also be a problem.
    True. A few years ago I had a VERY aggressive hive. I pinched the queen and added a new caged queen and placed a queen excluder on the bottom to keep the "mean" drone genetics out of my yard.

    Was quite a mess after a few weeks, but worked.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    >Just curious, could you just put a queen excluder on the bottom of the first box with no top entrance to keep them from swarming?

    The drones will quickly stop up the entire excluder and the rest will be confined and die.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
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    Jul 2016
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    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
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    138

    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    Hadn't thought about the drones or that the queen would thin down before swarming. Good info to know! Thanks all.

  9. #8
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    It's not the queen getting through that is the real issue, it's the drones. A smaller abdomen doesn't not make much difference. It's the thorax of the queen that matters and that's fixed in size.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
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    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    From my extensive reading and limited experience, it seems that attempting to physically restrain a queen (clipping wings, excluders, etc.) is not a viable method to preventing swarms. You either need to (1) manipulate the hive to make them not have the urge to swarm (splits, checkerboarding, opening brood nest, pyramiding, etc.); or (2) make them think that they have swarmed after the urge has developed (Snelgrove method 2, fly back split, Taranov manuever, Demaree, artifical swarm, etc.).

    But I am always looking for more ideas.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    228

    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    What do commercial guys do. Thereís a lot of complex swarm methods and I just canít see guys spending that much time on a few hundred hives. Or do they just turn there eyes from it.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
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    684

    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    I saw a little box you can put on the entrance that has a QE, and if you are able, you check it every few days to see if the bees are bunched up in the box, which means they are swarming or the drones are building up. Can't remember where i saw that. Didn't try it myself, but it was interesting.
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  13. #12
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    Apr 2017
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    Santa Cruz, CA
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    Default Re: Queen excluder on bottom?

    It's not that hard to tip up your top brood box and check for queen cells every 9 days. This is what the commerical keepers do.

    There are also dozens of ways to manage, prevent, and sort out swarming...queen excluders aren't one of them.

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