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I want to manage my hives with single brood boxes but have a question about the use of the queen excluder during the winter:

During the winter especially, I would like to keep the queen and brood confined to one box but in my area we need to keep several honey supers on. If I put a queen excluder between the brood box and the honey supers how does the colony get to the food it needs while keeping the queen and what little brood there may be warm enough to survive?
 

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You remove the queen excluder during the winter. If you do not remove it the cluster will move up, the queen will get stuck, and you will probably lose the hive.
 

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My understanding is that you must remove the queen excluder prior to overwintering, because as the cluster uses the resources in the bottom brood box, it migrates upward into the supers, and if the queen excluder is present, she will be left behind and freeze to death. Then, in the spring, the cluster naturally migrates back down into the brood box. I haven't overwintered a hive yet, but that is my understanding of the process to date. I'm sure experienced beeks will please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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The above posts are correct, the excluder is removed and then replaced to confine the queen to the desired brood chamber the following spring. This is usually done when the first surplus honey supers are added.
 

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I want to manage my hives with single brood boxes but have a question about the use of the queen excluder during the winter:

During the winter especially, I would like to keep the queen and brood confined to one box but in my area we need to keep several honey supers on. If I put a queen excluder between the brood box and the honey supers how does the colony get to the food it needs while keeping the queen and what little brood there may be warm enough to survive?
What I do in winter is run single brood alone with no supers so no queen excluder. I put a spacer over the brood box and mountain camp them in case they run out of stores.
 
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