Queen excluder modifications
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  1. #1
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    Default Queen excluder modifications

    I attended a presentation by Ed Karle this past fall during the VSBA meeting.

    Mr. Karle talked about cutting 3-4" off the ends off a queen excluder to end the " Queen excluders are honey excluder" issue.

    He said the workers just figure it out and go around while the queen typically chimneys and doesnt ascend.

    Anyone have any comments to this strategy. It's almost go time here!

    Thanks

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    I'd say that's an interesting idea, but not foolproof. Did he say how long he has done this and how successful it is? I suppose its worth a try if you didn't rely on the queen not getting up to the supers. My concern would not be if she laid in the supers, it would be I would have to be concerned about the possibility of her being in the supers when I want to get them off. J

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    that sounds sort of like the plywood excluder in this link

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/excludertypes.html

    I know there is a formal name for this, but I am not sure what it is. There was a thread on this a few months ago, and hopefully someone that knows the correct name can help out.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    The point is to keep the queen down not force the workers through the excluder. Simply provide an upper entrance.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    " Queen excluders are honey excluder" issue.
    This issue is not an issue at all. At least not in Europe. Don't think that your bees differ much from ours, though. I reckon this is only a problem, if you can't build strong enough hives due to poor beekeeping skills. But that's just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    .. cutting 3-4" off the ends off a queen excluder
    I feel my sense of irony triggered. I hope he was just joking...

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    Mr. Karle talked about cutting 3-4" off the ends off a queen excluder to end the " Queen excluders are honey excluder" issue. [...] Anyone have any comments to this strategy.
    Waste of a good excluder. Either use a plywood job (which work great for this purpose) - or - simply drill a corkable access hole in each of your supers. Problem solved.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    Anyone have any comments to this strategy.
    I have boxes with 14 (ww) frames and that makes box longer then LR (for width of one frame) and queen excluder doesn't cover completely the box. As Fivej said, it is not "foolproof" but it looks like that queen stays below the queen excluder in more then 90% of cases.

    IMG_20170701_125744qe.jpg

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    to end the " Queen excluders are honey excluder" issue.
    That issue was ended long ago, just read this article

    https://beesource.com/point-of-view/...oney-excluder/
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Thank you for the response. I know only the most beekeepers will respond when i resort to posting here and I appreciate every response. I have tried contacting him since his lecture and had to pose this idea to get some feed back. He said he had used this technique for x number of years and i found him mentioned here in a post Just ten years ago so he has been around. He is a professor at his local college.. I have been trying to contact him since last fall.your concerns are my concerns believe me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    I'd say that's an interesting idea, but not foolproof. Did he say how long he has done this and how successful it is? I suppose its worth a try if you didn't rely on the queen not getting up to the supers. My concern would not be if she laid in the supers, it would be I would have to be concerned about the possibility of her being in the supers when I want to get them off. J

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    that sounds sort of like the plywood excluder in this link

    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/excludertypes.html

    I know there is a formal name for this, but I am not sure what it is. There was a thread on this a few months ago, and hopefully someone that knows the correct name can help out.

    This is the most thorough reference source about queen excluders....thank you. Very good read.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by ShrekVa View Post
    The point is to keep the queen down not force the workers through the excluder. Simply provide an upper entrance.

    Yes....i have alway avoided the queen excluder until last year for a percieved necessity. We had a very wet relatively cold cloudy year in 2018. The bees were storing all the nectar as soon as the came in and not making it to the supers.

    Had to intervene... i slapped on queen excluders and since i didnt have upper entrancenshims i used snelgrove boards and opened an entrance....what a mess to my snelgrove boards.

    I only had one entrance into the hive since i have my apiary outfitted with warm way bases, but allowed the bees a top entrance i think until after honey harvest.

    This seemed to even out the nectar deposition-i think....i still have to clean those SG boards up...i am going to get busy and make some upper entrance shims post haste. Thank you for your response and reminder.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    This issue is not an issue at all. At least not in Europe. Don't think that your bees differ much from ours, though. I reckon this is only a problem, if you can't build strong enough hives due to poor beekeeping skills. But that's just my opinion.



    I feel my sense of irony triggered. I hope he was just joking...

    Sorry i don’t understand what you are saying.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Waste of a good excluder. Either use a plywood job (which work great for this purpose) - or - simply drill a corkable access hole in each of your supers. Problem solved.
    LJ

    Thank you a corked hole is an option thank very much.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    That issue was ended long ago, just read this article

    https://beesource.com/point-of-view/...oney-excluder/

    This is an excellent article and i read it twice, thank you for sharing that. This reinforces my priority to crank out some top entrance shims....thanks again
    Last edited by vdotmatrix; 03-26-2019 at 03:12 PM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Thanks for posting that study Astro, but the skunk totally voided the whole experiment. What would the results have been if a skunk didn't kill or weaken nearly half of the hives with a bottom entrance? I know all hives can be different, but unlike the author's experience, my hives seem to prefer the bottom entrance. I have only had a max of 3 hives so I know it is not scientific or conclusive. Only one of the three has used the upper entrance when running both upper and lower entrances. The other two pretty much ignored the ue. J

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Thanks for posting that study Astro, but the skunk totally voided the whole experiment. What would the results have been if a skunk didn't kill or weaken nearly half of the hives with a bottom entrance? I know all hives can be different, but unlike the author's experience, my hives seem to prefer the bottom entrance. I have only had a max of 3 hives so I know it is not scientific or conclusive. Only one of the three has used the upper entrance when running both upper and lower entrances. The other two pretty much ignored the ue. J

    Yes, it's a shame that he didn't have the colonies up off the ground, or quickly rectified the problem once it is was observed.

    I've been running excluders on every production colony I have and found that my yields are consistently above or on par with other experienced beekeepers (not rookies) in my area. I typically double published state averages (if that means anything). I'm a one-man operation, and without QEs I could never manage as many colonies as I do. QEs are certainly not needed for backyard bee keepers, but as someone who needs efficiency, I find them essential. I have tried many times to run without them, and find that even a super of capped honey isn't enough to keep queens from crossing it. I've also taken time to really observe the bee's movements through an excluder. It is quite amazing what little obstruction it poses to colonies that are used to moving through it. Sure, when you first place it on it might appear that the bees have trouble getting trough it, but come back a week later and (without disturbing their flow of motion too much) carefully observe the speed they navigate through it. So, (for me) this is such an non-issue, that I can say with total confidence that QEs are NOT honey excluders.

    Very often I see these "honey excluder" comments by keepers with very little experience and who are using techniques that are certain to lead to bad outcomes. I've posted about this here (on beesource) numerous times over the years. Unfortunately, I suspect that this will be a myth that persists as long people are keeping bees (particularly in the era where the bulk of new beekeepers knowledge comes from online forums). Again, new beekeepers, or those with less that 10 colonies, leave the QE in the shipping box in your garage. Gosh, I'm starting to sound more and more like an old curmudgeon.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Astro, I have run with and without QEs and I do not have enough hives or years of experience to make any conclusions. What I do know is that my lack of time and or laziness makes me find QEs attractive. Even though I just have a few hives, I like to be able to mess with my supers without worrying about the queen being up there. Sometimes I quickly pull some capped frames out, sometimes I reverse them, and I use a triangle board when I want to pull the whole super. I have had the queen start laying in a super without the QE and that presented a problem that I didn't want.
    Having only had to deal with one hive that uses an UE, I wonder if you find that it makes inspections more difficult. J

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Having only had to deal with one hive that uses an UE, I wonder if you find that it makes inspections more difficult. J
    Honestly, UE are helpful for beekeepers just getting into QEs, but about half of my colonies are run these day without the UE. I try to give colonies with more than 3 mediums of honey an UE. Upper entrances are very functional, but can result in pollen being stored in supers, which is not a good use of resources and makes uncapping more difficult. The further above the UE is relative to the QE, the less likely bees will be to store pollen in the supers, but no guarantees!! Of course with UE there are more bees in the air during inspections too, but most full inspections are done before main flow anyways.

    Slapping a QE under a box of bare foundation (with or without an UE) will almost always result in a swarm. This is one of the primary mistakes newbees make and forms many arguments the anti-QE crowd uses to point out why they are evil honey excluders. Proper techniques of getting the bees above the QE are VERY helpful to the success with them. ...Probably a topic for later.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Queen excluder modifications

    Thanks for the useful info Astro. J

  21. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by vdotmatrix View Post
    to end the " Queen excluders are honey excluder" issue.
    That issue was ended long ago, just read this article

    https://beesource.com/point-of-view/...oney-excluder/
    That is a very interesting article, but you’re wrong - the issue wasn’t ‘ended long ago’ because the author states in the opening “. I have not been able to finish the preliminary study as yet, but thought that I would share the first thought provoking data that was gathered ...”

    The article is from 1985 and is just the ‘first thought provoking data’

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