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The Mann Lake catalog arrived yesterday and I noticed on page 35 they offer an “Entrance Guard with Excluder” (item # WW-186). In the description it says “Avoid swarming and ensure your queen and drones stay in the hive…”. My question is: is this the end-all, be-all of swarm management? Is it a bad idea to lock the queen in the hive during prime swarming season? What are the consequences? Anyone use(d) one?

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If the old queen does not leave with a prime swarm, it is probable the first virgin that emerges will kill her. The virgins can't get through the excluder so they become drone layers, if they lay at all. The end result is a lost colony.

The only reason I can see to use one is to by a little time to make splits.
 

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>“Avoid swarming and ensure your queen and drones stay in the hive…”. My question is: is this the end-all, be-all of swarm management?

No.

> Is it a bad idea to lock the queen in the hive during prime swarming season?

It's not the queen that is the problem. It's the drones clogging the excluder that are the problem. But it won't stop them anyway. They will leave with the first virgin.

> What are the consequences?

Totally clogged entrances with drones stuck in the excluder.

>Anyone use(d) one?

Yes. Used being the operative word. I think I have four or five of them around somewhere. I haven't seen them in decades...
 
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