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I haven't been on here for quite a while, and back when I used to post quiet often I was one that was adamantly against the use of excluders. The last couple of years I have had my queens lay in too many supers and thereby creating a mess that I'm sure most have experienced. So some of last year and this year before the supers go on an excluder goes on first. I still believe it may hinder production some but the small loss will be worth not having the extra work and mess.
 

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Dawn breaks over Marblehead! LOL I too have been through the excluder, No excluder, Excluder route several times. there are times when it is possible and productive to run hives without excluders, then there are times when excluders are necessary, unfortunately it is almost imposable to determine all the factors both habitual and environmental that differentiate the two. It all comes down to goals and where you choose to donate your time. in the end it is an individual choice.
 

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My current thought is to leave them on till the First box is full then pull it.
Dav
 

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Funny, I'm using exluders on some hives but not all.

I was having issues with my bees going through the excluder to my supers with all-new foundation. Once I removed the excluder on those hives, voila, they started moving into those supers. The funny thing is they are building the comb from right-to-left and filling it as soon as possible; the queen doesn't have time to get up there and lay. I've decided not to add an excluder at all to these hives.

On my other hives I have supers with drawn comb, no issues with them passing the through the excluder. I have 3 supers full one hive and two on another and I'll probably be adding more this weekend.

I do use Imirie shims in between my supers though. Whether this helps or not I dont know, but the girls do seem to use those entrances a lot.

I'm finding that it just depends on the colony whether you can use excluders on them or not. I'm having fun experimenting if nothing else. And it goes to show that the bees don't read the books.
 

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I'm wondering if any of you have tried the trick of giving the bees a way in and out of the honey supers, where they don't need to traverse the excluders? Where their bottom entrance is restricted in size, and the majority of the foragers have unrestricted access to the honey supers, but must pass through the excluder in order to access the brood supers.

The technique is described in this POV. I've tried it, and it works well, for me.
 

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Aucoop94, where on the hive do you put your Imrie shims? I've made 4 and was thinking about putting them on as I've heards good things about them.
 

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>The last couple of years I have had my queens lay in too many supers and thereby creating a mess that I'm sure most have experienced.

Back when I ran deeps and shallows I guess I could say what the "supers"were. Now that I run all eight frame mediums, the question is moot. If the queen lays in it, it's not a super...

But on the topic of queens laying in the supers, I think the primary cause is that there is no drone comb in the brood nest. Bees don't want brood scattered all over, it's too much work to keep it warm and fed. But soft drawn comb in the supers is easy to tear down, while old comb with cocoons is not. Or if you have foundation in the supers, it's even easier to get drone comb by just building it.

>My current thought is to leave them on till the First box is full then pull it.

Hmmm... If I were using excluders, I would do the opposite. Leave it off until they are working the supers really well and then put it on... just make sure the drones have a way out of the supers...
 

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Joseph,

I have upper entrances on my hives so when I have an exclude on they don't have to go through the excluder.

I also use and additional entrance shim, per your design, on big hives that I set on top of the excluder.

Tom
 

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I'm wondering if any of you have tried the trick of giving the bees a way in and out of the honey supers, where they don't need to traverse the excluders? Where their bottom entrance is restricted in size, and the majority of the foragers have unrestricted access to the honey supers, but must pass through the excluder in order to access the brood supers.

The technique is described in this POV. I've tried it, and it works well, for me.
Yes, this is what the Imirie Shim is intended to do.

Barberberry, the man that invented it (George Imirie, I think) recommended that it go between the supers, so between super #1 and super #2 (if counting from bottom up) and so on. However, never directly above the top hive body or excluder. He also says its not for supers with foundation either, but I'm finding that makes no difference since I'm using foundation.
 

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Hello. New here.

This is my first year with Langs and I'm having a great time with them. I have only been keeping top bar hives to this point. I have one deep and three mediums on several hives and they are all full. I have mediums ready to put on top and I am toying with the idea of putting an excluder on between the top box and the new medium. Also, I have top entrance only and screened bottom board. I've noticed that the queen is laying in all three boxes and I have a ton of drones in one of the hives.

Any advice?
 

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>But on the topic of queens laying in the supers, I think the primary cause is that there is no drone comb in the brood nest. Bees don't want brood scattered all over, it's too much work to keep it warm and fed. But soft drawn comb in the supers is easy to tear down, while old comb with cocoons is not. Or if you have foundation in the supers, it's even easier to get drone comb by just building it.
I have 2 questions...

1) I want to keep the brood nest open (reducing swarming), but if all the boxes (1 deep and 3 mediums) are full of bees and I want to add another super for honey production, can I do that without moving any of the full frames up to the new box? Please let me know if I am not clear in my question.

2. To keep the brood nest open, it helps to move full frames to the upper boxes, but in so doing, when it is time to harvest honey, a whole box can't be harvested because of the mixture of pollen and brood. Is this what you encounter as well?


Thanks for your time.
 

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>1) I want to keep the brood nest open (reducing swarming), but if all the boxes (1 deep and 3 mediums) are full of bees and I want to add another super for honey production, can I do that without moving any of the full frames up to the new box? Please let me know if I am not clear in my question.

Why do you think you need to pull full frames up to the new box? Not that it's a bad idea, just wondering why you think you have to. If you're trying to keep the brood nest open, you can usually pull frames of honey up to make room for empty frames in the brood nest if that's your goal.

> 2. To keep the brood nest open, it helps to move full frames to the upper boxes, but in so doing, when it is time to harvest honey, a whole box can't be harvested because of the mixture of pollen and brood. Is this what you encounter as well?

I only harvest whole boxes when the bees have moved down to cluster in the late fall. If I have a frame of all pollen I set it aside and make up a box of them. This I'll give to a strong hive. There is no brood in the hive when I'm harvesting, let alone in the supers... but if I were doing it in the summer I'd be doing it during a flow and using the abandonment method. So I pull the boxes off and set them in front of or behind the hive on their end just before dark and then after dark I pick up the boxes. If there are still bees in the box, then it probably has brood in it. If there are a lot I put them back on the hive. If there are only a couple of drone frames I pull the frames of brood and adhering bees and accumulate them in one box and add that to a weak hive. If I end up with some brood back at the kitchen, I just don't harvest it. I'll take it back later.
 

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>1) Why do you think you need to pull full frames up to the new box? Not that it's a bad idea, just wondering why you think you have to. If you're trying to keep the brood nest open, you can usually pull frames of honey up to make room for empty frames in the brood nest if that's your goal.

Thanks for the feedback on how you harvest honey near dark. The reason I would want to pull full frames up to the new box was that I wanted to put empty frames into the brood nest to give the queen more room to lay. I see now that I should be moving frames of mainly honey up to the top box.

What if I was to move frames of honey and drone up to the top? What would that do?
 

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I'm wondering if any of you have tried the trick of giving the bees a way in and out of the honey supers, where they don't need to traverse the excluders? Where their bottom entrance is restricted in size, and the majority of the foragers have unrestricted access to the honey supers, but must pass through the excluder in order to access the brood supers.

The technique is described in this POV. I've tried it, and it works well, for me.
Can this be done with a reduced bottom entrance to help bottom and have top entrance larger opening?
 
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