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Thought I would do a little experimenting this year and try out a queen excluder. The hives are very strong and seem to be storing a good amount of honey in the top brood box. I've put a super on but the bees don't seem to be filling it quite as much as the brood box. Will they eventually work up to the super or am I restricting their progress with the queen excluder? I have drawn frame in the supers.
 

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Bees often will not cross the excluder especially if it is not drawn comb. If you really feel the need to use an excluder and your supers are smaller than your brood frames, you can put a drawn deep frame in the middle position in two supers full of foundation to get them working above the excluder. You are best served just leaving it off and not extracting any frames that have brood In them.
 

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Ive never heard bigger rubbish in my life. The queen excluder isnt a honey excluder. The only reason bees wont go up into the honey super is the hive isnt big enough yet. But better to put it on a little early then to late. Also when a brood box is ready for a honey super, pull the outside frames out of the brood super and put them in the honey supper (preferably with some capped brood in there, the bees will tend them up there and the three weeks it takes the brood to hatch) and put 2 new frames in the brood. Preferably built out nice comb youve previously extracted or new foundation. But as this is a weak hive it will take longer to build foundation out and allow the queen to lay in it. Giver her frames she can lay in today.

As soon as there is enough bees they will fly through the excluder like it isnt there.

Honey excluder is a myth.

Every commercial bee keeper uses queen excluders. I've got 80 hives and in the last 5 months have averaged 75kg of honey out of every hive.
 

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Bees will seldom cross an excluder to work bare foundation. They are much more willing to cross an excluder for drawn comb.

>Every commercial bee keeper uses queen excluders.

Patently not true. Some of them do and some of them don't. It's been that way for over a century now...
 

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Bees will seldom cross an excluder to work bare foundation. They are much more willing to cross an excluder for drawn comb.

>Every commercial bee keeper uses queen excluders.

Patently not true. Some of them do and some of them don't. It's been that way for over a century now...
Id be very interested to know what commercial bee keepers, those with 250 hives or more dont use excluders. We remove the excluders on strong 3 deep hives, allow the queen to run up the middle laying out, buy 2 extra queens and then split the hive into 3 hives. Queens dont stay in only two supers.

When queens get through excluders they will lay in supers where ever its vacant.
A commercial operation cant afford to turn up to an apaiary ready to pull honey supers of and inspect every super to ensure the queen isnt laying or in the super that its being taken. That or pull individual frames out of 2 or more supers. Way to time consuming. You would never get anything done.

Well in my opinion anyway.
 

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Light comb atop a 10 frame double usually does a pretty good job of confining a queen to the lower brood nest though sometimes queens will wander a bit if there is drone comb available in the honey supers. We currently run about 1/3 of our hives as non-excluded doubles and the remainder as excluded singles. Pulling honey off of the doubles does require a quick check for brood but it isn't anything real time consuming, if they do have some brood we usually just dedicate a few boxes in the yard as brood boxes.
 

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Light comb atop a 10 frame double usually does a pretty good job of confining a queen to the lower brood nest though sometimes queens will wander a bit if there is drone comb available in the honey supers. We currently run about 1/3 of our hives as non-excluded doubles and the remainder as excluded singles. Pulling honey off of the doubles does require a quick check for brood but it isn't anything real time consuming, if they do have some brood we usually just dedicate a few boxes in the yard as brood boxes.
How many hives do you run Jim?

What advantage is there to not running an excluder?? It can only cost you time?
 

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How many hives do you run Jim?

What advantage is there to not running an excluder?? It can only cost you time?
Ha, ha, well maybe I'm just too tight to buy them, though I never really saw much of a need in a double. Its all condition dependent of course but if the flow is slower there is a tendency not to breach the excluder in a double and just pack everything down below. If there is a decent flow then brood above the double deep is a pretty minor problem unless, of course, your super contains dark brood comb.
 

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I love them, they are a pain in the ass but I love them
Ah yes the "pita" part. Pushing bees down through the excluder on a single then scraping all the burr comb off everything. Gonna be doing that on another 3 to 400 hives today. Fun times!
 

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I run 300 now and have been as high as 800. also worked for a comm. guy that ran 15000. only ran honey blockers for splitting. time to pull honey - put on 15 bee go pads and go wait 5 minutes. then remove pad - tilt box and look under for brood. no brood - load box. when I get to brood - around a double deep and a medium - time to move pad to another hive. this years crop was rained out. on a regular year I average 175 lbs. on 1 35 day crop. Tallow. but you got to leave the berry honey on to do it
 

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I run 300 now and have been as high as 800. also worked for a comm. guy that ran 15000. only ran honey blockers for splitting. time to pull honey - put on 15 bee go pads and go wait 5 minutes. then remove pad - tilt box and look under for brood. no brood - load box. when I get to brood - around a double deep and a medium - time to move pad to another hive. this years crop was rained out. on a regular year I average 175 lbs. on 1 35 day crop. Tallow. but you got to leave the berry honey on to do it
Interesting, I get over 100 kilos out of every hive, Ive averaged 75 kilo in the last 5 months. I live in a nice warm place that has good honey flows. i just feel the whole idea of calling these honey blockers is just insane.
Ive started another thread anywhere and if anything is a honey blocker, its when you turn up to an apiary and the queen is above the excluder. It means honey then cant be taken off that hive for 3 more weeks. But it's full, it still needs to be given space. So now its 4 or 5 stories high. its a risk it will blow over in a big wind. That hive is now out of sync with the other hives in the apiary. Now as im having trouble with my excluders at the moment im probably seeing 10% like this. Thats so much extra work.

With regards to cost and working in aussie dollars, a hive should gross easily $500 a year, and an excluder is $8 to $16 and will last 10 years or more if its looked after?? Whats your time worth??
 

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I'm a little guy with only 35 hives but I went to all Queen excluders this year. It's nice to know there's no queen or brood in the supers when harvesting. To me it saves time and I noticed no reduction in the amount of honey harvested (ran a comparison last year). Flipside, this year 4 of my hives ended up with the queens above the excluders from my Spring to Summer harvest. I'd love to know how they did it. They weren't above when I installed the excluders as I put them on when I installed empty but drawn supers. Are they new queens that came through the top entrance after mating flights, or did they somehow fit through the excluder? The excluders I use are http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/product/HD-125.html. How often do you who run excluders find the queen gets above the excluder?
 

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I'm a little guy with only 35 hives but I went to all Queen excluders this year. It's nice to know there's no queen or brood in the supers when harvesting. To me it saves time and I noticed no reduction in the amount of honey harvested (ran a comparison last year). Flipside, this year 4 of my hives ended up with the queens above the excluders from my Spring to Summer harvest. I'd love to know how they did it. They weren't above when I installed the excluders as I put them on when I installed empty but drawn supers. Are they new queens that came through the top entrance after mating flights, or did they somehow fit through the excluder? The excluders I use are http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/product/HD-125.html. How often do you who run excluders find the queen gets above the excluder?
My dad is an old bee keeper and he ran plastic excluders, reckons he never had queens above the excluder. Im not 100% sure, ive read maximum opening in an excluder should be 4.3 mm. Ive noticed with the metal excluders, brand new off the shelf you can slide a 4.5mm drill bit between 5 % of the openings. I believe they are poor quality made in china and im desperately trying to source some good ones why also trialing a few plastic ones. The plastic ones do not allow the drill bit to slide through. Ive also heard some runt queens will get through and if they are a good layer you can just use that hive to keep splitting off and requeen the splits with mated queens. Then at the end of the season knock her on the head and start again next year.
 

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I have put excluders on the brood nest, then previous years drawn comb and waited till the combs were all being filled and took the excluder off. Go back in a week and the center frames have a big arch of eggs and larvae. The workers had to have emptied those cells for the queen to lay in. That is determination!

These bees I have sure dont follow the same rule book that makes claims that queens wont go up and lay up the supers. Maybe different bees, different flow patterns, cold nights, short season etc., make a difference, but some of the blanket statements made about excluders sure dont apply everywhere.

I dont want to have to work around brood in hone supers when I am extracting. I also dont want to play the game of separating frames or boxes and waiting for brood to emerge before extracting. I consider excluders a big plus for me.
 

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How often do you who run excluders find the queen gets above the excluder?
I would say less than 5% of the time. We use metal excluders.
In a heavy flow excluders don't slow the bees down at all, I've seen enough side by side tests of my own to be certain of that. The problem many have is they don't fully understand when they should be used and when they shouldn't. It's not a very good practice to expect even a strong hive to start working a box of foundation above an excluder with no "bait combs" quite often they will just plug down first. A few years back I heard about a guy who made up a bunch of small nucs before a northern clover flow, put on an excluder and a couple of supers above and walked away from them for a good part of the summer. What ended up happening was the bees weren't strong enough to breach the excluder and just plugged down. He ended up with a deep full of honey and virtually no bees or brood. Lesson learned....I would hope.
Check out the "complete hive kit" in the Mann Lake catalog. It says "add a queen excluder and maximize your honey crop!" Hmmm. First year beekeeper with a package on foundation? No wonder there are so many disallusioned beekeepers that call them honey excluders.
 

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How often do you who run excluders find the queen gets above the excluder?
I had 1 queen above an excluder this year, 1 out of 90 production hives.
I've not had more than a couple or 3 in any single year.
Have noticed that many queens above the QE are newly mated bought in queens installed in the spring after pulling the resident queen.
I have both metal and plastic QE's.
 
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