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As a new beekeeper. I try to read, watch and ask numerous questions, as I want to do things the right way. I watched a youtube video where the guy was saying queen excluders were no good and that by using one it damages the bees wings and shorting its life by 50 %. Is this true. I want to collect some honey when ready and do not want any brood in the comb.
 

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There is an abundance of beliefs that are not well supported but based on isolated conditions. The wing damage issue might have been quite real in times past when a typical queen excluder had openings punched in sheet metal that left very sharp edges that likely did cause wing damage. No comparison to today's round wire construction so that is mostly baloney. Much of Youtube offerings is poorly vetted for poor advice. I would dare to say that 95% of all honey produced on this continent was produced using excluders.

If you are starting new colonies and have only bare foundation in boxes above an excluder the bees can be a bit reluctant to travel through them. There are some simple methods to work around this initial reluctance. You have not mentioned what height frames you are using for brood and for honey.

There are some very good practical reasons not to have brood reared in your honey combs but many people have reasons to choose no excluders as it can work to advantage for some management methods.
 

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Queen excluders are the answer to your stated objective; in my personal experience, no adverse effects have been observed. When nectar exists, which gives them a reason to pass through, it is easily done. No more difficult than an individual passing through a wide turnstile, and never have I ripped my clothes. However, there is no “right way”; just many ways, and most will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is an abundance of beliefs that are not well supported but based on isolated conditions. The wing damage issue might have been quite real in times past when a typical queen excluder had openings punched in sheet metal that left very sharp edges that likely did cause wing damage. No comparison to today's round wire construction so that is mostly baloney. Much of Youtube offerings is poorly vetted for poor advice. I would dare to say that 95% of all honey produced on this continent was produced using excluders.

If you are starting new colonies and have only bare foundation in boxes above an excluder the bees can be a bit reluctant to travel through them. There are some simple methods to work around this initial reluctance. You have not mentioned what height frames you are using for brood and for honey.

There are some very good practical reasons not to have brood reared in your honey combs but many people have reasons to choose no excluders as it can work to advantage for some management methods.
I have two deep boxes for brood and now two medium honey supers with the queen excluder separating the deep boxes
 

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I have two deep boxes for brood and now two medium honey supers with the queen excluder separating the deep boxes
Sounds like the excluder is between the two deeps. I do not think that is what you meant. If it between the deeps and the mediums, that is where it should be. As long as there is drawn comb upstairs, you should not have a problem.
 

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As a new beekeeper. I try to read, watch and ask numerous questions, as I want to do things the right way. I watched a youtube video where the guy was saying queen excluders were no good and that by using one it damages the bees wings and shorting its life by 50 %. Is this true. I want to collect some honey when ready and do not want any brood in the comb.
Here's my take on this...bear in mind that it is 'free advice' and thus worth whatever value you place on it:

The 'damages wings' thing is from when the first excluders were stamped out of zinc, rough edges on the holes DID damage bees' wings....that is long gone with round wire excluders.

My practice is to run WITHOUT an excluder until about end-of-July, then put one above the 2nd deep (assuming you are running 2 deeps + supers) and if there is any brood in the supers, it will emerge and go 'downstairs'..then after 3 weeks you can pull the supers without fear of brood in them. Or leave a partially-full or one of drawn comb on in case of the mythical (for here anyway) 'late fall flow'. Take them all off when you start the fall feeding.

Caution: CHECK about a week after adding the excluder to make sure the queen was not trapped 'up top' and is laying like mad up there. ( Been there, done that, have the bite marks on my butt, the 'STOOPID' stamp on my forehead, AND the T-shirt........)
 

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The Snelgrove method of swarm control would be impossible without them. Single brood box management would be near about impossible to keep brood out of honey supers without them.

Allowing brood to be raised in your honey supers leads to more diligent methods of storage because wax moths prefer to lay eggs where brood has been.

Alex
 

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It takes fair bit of experience to know whether advice is good or bad: there is no shortage of the latter on Youtube. Sometimes what is good practice for one climate or management system, sure doesn't apply to another.

On a forum like this if a piece of advice is a bit dodgy or over optimistic someone will jump in to temper it, or coax out further details.
 

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Excluders like any tool are great if used properly. Most beekeepers do not use them the right way. I didn't for years and after a bee friend (on here) twisted my arm I caved and gave them another shot. Every production hive gets them now what a Time saver!
 

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Excluders like any tool are great if used properly. Most beekeepers do not use them the right way. I didn't for years and after a bee friend (on here) twisted my arm I caved and gave them another shot. Every production hive gets them now what a Time saver!

Could you describe "the right way". I go back and forth on using them, but usually lean towards not.
 

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Could you describe "the right way". I go back and forth on using them, but usually lean towards not.
I use them. They save labor and reduce the risk of injuring the queen during harvests. I remove the excluders around All Saints Day and add them back around the Ides of March. Those dates will vary based on the climate in your location.
 

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I use them. They save labor and reduce the risk of injuring the queen during harvests. I remove the excluders around All Saints Day and add them back around the Ides of March. Those dates will vary based on the climate in your location.
I've gone back and forth on queen excluders. This is my best year with the strongest hives. Ides of March is about when I started thinking she needed limited so they would be forced to fill the top box with honey and not brood. Thinking back to the three cut outs I did last summer, they all had brood on the upper portions of the comb and honey below. The queen was not naturally moving down. I have a similar climate to what Riverderwent has, so his dates sound about right for what I am seeing.
 

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Welcome to the Bee world. Best thing would be to try one, and see if it meets your needs. You did not say if you intend to eat the comb or extract or crush and strain. It may matter how you get your honey if the Excluder is a nice thing or needed. I like the wood bound wire excluder, again your choice. Getting them to start on foundation could be a bit frustrating. I do see with just foundation strips they some times , start from the bottom up, a couple frames of full foundation will help then to get going as well. As I extract, I can give empty comb back to encourage going into the super sooner. good luck.
GG
 

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Has to be in the top 5 things beekeepers disagree on. Pandora's Box and a Can Of Worms rolled into one. Best advice is to try them and decide for yourself. Then defend your decision to the end of time! J
 

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Excluders like any tool are great if used properly. Most beekeepers do not use them the right way. I didn't for years and after a bee friend (on here) twisted my arm I caved and gave them another shot. Every production hive gets them now what a Time saver!
What is the right way? ...... Not funny to say that and then not tell the secret >>>>LOL
 

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What is the right way? ...... Not funny to say that and then not tell the secret >>>>LOL
Using QE w/o with drawn frames drawn frames is very challenged since there is no incentive for them to go through the excluder to an empty space. Hence you got to prime them by moving a brood frame up above the QE. This gets the nurse bee to move up and others will move up to draw comb, etc...
 
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