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we put a plastic queen excluder in our hives and the rest of the bees will not go up through it either.what could be causing this
 

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Do remember that if it is cold where you are and the bees DO move up through the excluder, there is a real possibility that the queen will be left behind to become chilled. Excluders should always come off in the fall for this reason. You do not want to risk your queen being abandoned as the cluster moves up onto the stores over the winter.

JMO

Rusty
 

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Yes, let the bees get started drawing wax up in that new upper box before adding the excluder. Once they get started, shake the bees off back into the bottom box and put on the excluder. This way, they get used to using the new space before you put the restricting excluder on, and they'll continue to go through the excluder to get to the space they have already started working on.
 

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Unless you have a very good and very specific reason I would take it off completely. Queen excluders are marketed as standard equipment, but they're really for advanced beekeeping. It took me years to realize I shouldn't have been messing with them.
 

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Well I use two deeps for brood, only occasionally do I have a queen lay in a honey super, at that point I'll make sure she's not in the super, put an exluder in between, allow the brood to hatch, and that quickly gets refilled with honey. But really it happens so seldom I don't use the excluder as a preventative measure, only corrective action. I really do believe excluders reduce your honey crop when used all the time.
 

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remove it, don't ever use one. Yes she will go up past the first deep, especially in spring she prefers to be in the 2nd box. Most leave 2 deeps for brood.
 

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Ya that's what I'm saying, queens usually don't. However if those center frames in the second brood box are brood, top to bottom, you don't have that honey barrier. I'm glad burns chimed in. Queen excluders are one of the biggest sources of frustration for beginners in my opinion. I use mine to drain cappings mostly now.
 

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Unless you have a very good and very specific reason I would take it off completely. Queen excluders are marketed as standard equipment, but they're really for advanced beekeeping. It took me years to realize I shouldn't have been messing with them.

:thumbsup:
 

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excluders are a good way to create swarming if there isnt any place for the queen to lay i.e...give her planty of brood chambers. its also a good way to cause her to get chilled in cold spells. leave them out. i also use one i had for drainage in my uncapping tank.im going to do my first queen rearing this year and i MIGHT use one to create a cell finisher area above a queen right hive. not sure yet.


Leave them off year round. remember,if you want to have a good honey harvest, you need a ton of bees. if she doesnt have a good size brood chamber she wont lay enough eggs regularly. and if you do get the occasional wandering queen up in a honey super just dont harvest that frame. no biggie.
 

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we put a plastic queen excluder in our hives and the rest of the bees will not go up through it either.what could be causing this
But I guess to answer your question, it seems to me bees need a good reason to go through an excluder, you won't usually convince them.
 

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Bees, like every other living thing, will take the path of least resistance. Make it a little more difficult with no reason for them to take that path and they will need a lot of reasons to take it. Most beeks will take a frame of honey or two and place above the excluder. This will make the bees move up most often.
I'm glad I have the all metal excluders. I use them for draining cappings and as shelves in my honey warmer.
 

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I'm glad I read this. I too never run queen excluders unless I am using it for a cell finisher colony. Last year all my hives were single deeps with mediums above. In the early spring I had only a few queen push into the bottom of the first super, but never even a full frame, or beyond that box. I completely understand the commercial rational of use, to ensure you can pull honey supers without concern of brood in them.

Now somewhat off topic, but mentioned above, I will be upgrading all my honey hives to double deeps this year. Last year, even with open supers above, I still lost swarms. I'm hoping by spreading out the brood nest early and filling in with undrawn foundation that the queen will realize she has a lot more space and be less prone to swarm. The swarms I lost last year really set me back on honey production :(

I have a 10 pk of excluders I purchased for the reason mentioned above, and other situations in which the queen needs to be isolated. But in general I leave them off the hive, and I advise every new beekeeper that I teach to do the same.
 
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