Am I making a mistake using a queen excluder between my two large hive bodies and my supers? There is plenty of honey in the upper large box, but the bees seem slow to start in the supers on two of my hives. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
With 2 deeps, especially this late in the year, bees don't want to go through the excluder so well. They figure they don't need to, as 2 deeps make plenty of room for them to have a broodnest with stores large enough to over winter. Take the excluder off, and add it back on after they get started drawing the combs out. Make sure the queen is below when you put it back on.
I agree with M. Bush. After years of little or no honey. I have not used the things for the past 3 years and am getting honey now. However my neighbor, about a 1/4 mile away uses them with no problem. Go figure :scratch:
If you have a box of honey above your brood boxes, you don't need the queen excluder to keep the queen out of the honey supers. Especially if there is a band of honey above the brood in the second deep brood super. Generally the queen won't cross honey to get to open comb.
Well, I did say generally. Which means there are exceptions. Like when a hive swarms the returning newly mated queen will often be found above the excluder. Now I don't know if she just comes into the hive at a high point or if she goes up through the excluder, but it happens.
I do believe that, especially at this time of year, in NY State, what I said is true and will work. Don't ya think?
The only time I use an excluder is if I find brood in a super that is filling with honey. Then I will make sure that the queen is in the deeps, put an excluder on, let the brood hatch. They will in general clean up the brood comb and fill it with honey.
Thanks, all, for your information. I have not had problems with excluders in the past, but in light of your comments (enlightened) I think I will pull them from the slow hives. My brother uses them only on a limited basis and he always has a good supply of honey.
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