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I'm starting my second season. I was thinking of supering without a queen excluder this year. I remember from following this site last year that there were many comments in favor of going without the excluder. I've also read the article by G. W. Hayes, "Queen Excluder or Honey Excluder?" and I'm curious to try it this year. Does it really improve yield? How do I know the queen won't lay eggs all over the hive and prevent me from harvesting the honey. I didn't get any honey last year but the hive overwintered well and they look strong. I don't want to screw up my first chance at a honey harvest. Any thoughts?
 

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>Does it really improve yield?

IMO yes.

>How do I know the queen won't lay eggs all over the hive and prevent me from harvesting the honey.

You don't. But if you let them build some drone cells in the brood chamber she'll be less likely to leave. If you can get a honey cap over her she'll be even less likely wander.

>I didn't get any honey last year but the hive overwintered well and they look strong. I don't want to screw up my first chance at a honey harvest. Any thoughts?

Obviously people succeed at it using excluders and people succeed at it NOT using excluders. But I don't like them because the bees don't seem to like them at all.
 

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Hey Coffee!

Just do it!

When you look at a hive naturally, it is shaped like a skep. The honey is at the top and sides and the brood nest is at the bottom and middle.

So the bees naturally separate the honey from the brood nest.

If you think about it it makes sense. It is more efficient for the queen to lay all the brood together, and more efficient and effective for the nurse bees to have pollen and honey nearby at the edges of the brood nest area. So as they consume honey they move up, but keep the nest segregated pretty much.

I started last year and have never used a queen excluder. I had no problem last year extracting.
I use all mediums in my Lang. hives.

Just keep plenty of empty supers on top so they have room to fill them up, and checkerboard, and they will do fine. You will have a good harvest!
 

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I use two deeps for brood, and even then the queen still manages to lay brood in the super, often. I'm sort of a half-believer in excluders. I use them on strong hives that have at least some drawn comb... but don't use them on weaker hives or hives without any drawn comb in the super. What works best is to let the bees begin drawing comb or filling a super without an excluder, and once they've committed, put on an excluder before the queen gets to eyeing the super.
 

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I never used excluders for years, especially on my 2 queen units. I have changed that though as I got tired of uncapping brood with honey in strong hives and also know that if a hive were to get foulbrood the honey supers would be garbage due to spores from infected larve. IMO they are a good idea. You can get the same harvest (actually better) by giving the bees and upper entrance. I do this by simply offsetting #2 & #3 honey super. This way the queen and brood are where I want them and my honey and supers are clean.
 

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Another idea yew might try is to put a 8 mesh on top of yore 2nd super and leave an inch all around the out side.Surprising how it works.Not to often the queen will move up and the workers roar on threw.
 
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