Author Topic: Queen excluder?  (Read 244 times)

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Online Nugget Shooter

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Queen excluder?
« on: February 14, 2017, 01:04:15 PM »
Just once again looking for opinions this time on Queen Excluders, yes or not needed? First flow starting and will be adding supers very soon.....  ???
Learning to manage without meddling, cheers Bill

Online efmesch

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 01:22:04 PM »
I think you'll find a lot of opinions on the forum against using excluders.  Last year I tried out following their advice---and I regret having not used them.  My experience is that, when the queen is free to roam as she wishes, she invariably goes up into the honey supers and lays eggs there.  That makes for a lot of problems when it comes to extracting.
If managed properly, a good excluder shouldn't make trouble for the hive and it should keep your honey extractable.  The key words are "managed properly".  Excluders, placed on the hive at the right time, with built combs above them to attract the worker bees. You can even put a frame of brood up above to draw the bees there for a starter, by the time you are ready to extract, the brood should have emerged and been replaced with honey.  During a good honey flow, I move my honey supers above the excluder back a bit, thus creating a space for the field bees access to the storage area without having to go through the excluder to get there.
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Offline Chip Euliss

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 01:28:20 PM »
I use excluders for singles but not doubles.  An occasional queen will lay in the first super but they've generally all hatched and the cells back-filled with honey by September.  That's when I pull honey and I only pull it once per year.  Works for me but everyone has a different schedule. Ef's has good advice.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 05:41:56 PM »
I try not to put them on until the bees tell me different. The last couple of year I waited and 2 weeks after I put my honey supers on half the queens had moved up and started laying in them. >:( I then have to locate them and place them down in the brood chamber and then put an excluder on. If I put the excluder on right away the bees tend to plug up the brood chamber before they will go through it, even though there is drawn comb up there. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. ;D
Whatever you do, don't use an excluder if you don't have drawn comb above it. One of the most common mistakes made by new keeps is wondering why the bees didn't draw out the honey super, but it almost always is because they only had foundation up there.
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Online Nugget Shooter

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 06:10:25 PM »
Thank you folks, as a year 2 fellow drawn comb is not yet a common commodity.... Thank you!
Learning to manage without meddling, cheers Bill

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 06:13:29 PM »
lol nugget, this will be a long discussion............ :D

but a very good one.  there are some great threads and discussions here from the past.  i will try to dig some up for you to read if you haven't already.

very good replies by ef, chip and perry.

i use them, but the key is when to use and not (management and sometimes timing) or your personal preference.
i don't like queens laying in my honey super frames.  this darkens the comb. yes, you can move her out and down,  put the excluder on, the bees take care of the brood, but over time the frames she has laid in darken. 
also, i use a top and bottom entrance so when an excluder goes on the bees have access at the top rather than always taking a field trip up through the hive from the bottom.

and like perry said, do not use an excluder with any undrawn comb/foundation. this is a great hindrance. put the undrawn comb/foundation in, feed til it is drawn (do not rely on a flow) and then decide whether you want to use one.  typically when there is a honey barrier in place, the queen will not cross this to lay in the frames or the boxes above.

EDIT AND ADD:
the best time to get bees to draw comb is in the spring of the season.  you can put them on just before the flow starts, and feed.  if the flow is a decent one, between the feed and flow, the frames will get drawn rather quickly.
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 08:26:19 PM »
Never use them... nope I am wrong I use them to keep a queen in on a swarm. I guess that makes it an includer.

Offline Robo

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 08:55:06 PM »
I don't use them unless making comb honey.  Like Chip stated, by September they have push the queen down and the brood has hatched (occasionally get a few drone broods across the bottom of a few frames).   If you do use them,  I would recommend rotating them 90 degrees leaving an unprotected strip along the frame ends.   Queens tend to work up the middle of the colony and run into the excluder.  The field bees will lear to go up the ends and avoid the excluder.

They have often been called "honey excluders" for valid reasons.
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 10:31:18 PM »
good point by robo on the comb honey.

i do have my bees making comb honey almost every year (depends on the flow, strength of the hive), so for me the queen excluder goes on for any hive i have frames in for comb honey.  :)
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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 08:49:20 AM »
Thank you all for the input and great education, I have opted to add supers without using an excluder this season due to not having any drawn comb to use above it. I may consider other options if I plan to harvest comb honey next flow, but for now this is my plan.  :yes:
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Offline Robo

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 11:31:11 AM »
I think you made the right call.  Excluders and foundation don't work well together.  I find a round or two of brood raised in the honey supers really strengthen the comb for extracting.  It is a catch 22 though,   once they have had brood in them,  they are susceptible to wax moth.
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Online yes2matt

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 04:46:22 PM »
I think you made the right call.  Excluders and foundation don't work well together.  I find a round or two of brood raised in the honey supers really strengthen the comb for extracting.  It is a catch 22 though,   once they have had brood in them,  they are susceptible to wax moth.
Does a round of brood flavor and darken the honey?

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2017, 05:25:38 PM »
Frames that have had a round or two of brood raised in them become darker, and resulting honey crops from those frames can be slightly darker as well. I find that in my honey supers the lightest coloured comb produces the lightest clearest honey, floral sources dependent of course.
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 06:53:04 PM »
the honey will be darker.
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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2017, 07:23:37 PM »
I think you made the right call.  Excluders and foundation don't work well together.  I find a round or two of brood raised in the honey supers really strengthen the comb for extracting.  It is a catch 22 though,   once they have had brood in them,  they are susceptible to wax moth.
So, a box of drawn comb that has only been used for honey can be stored with less damage? That's bee sweet!
the honey will be darker.
What about on the next use?  I had some med frames the girls raised some brood in them, then I moved them up  (when I went to deep brood boxes) and got some honey out of them. It was brown. If I use those frames for honey again, will they discolor it the same?


Sorry to derail the thread;  I don't want to scrape back to the foundation :/

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Offline riverbee

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Re: Queen excluder?
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2017, 07:40:02 PM »
you still need to protect the supers from wax moth damage, mice, ants, etc........

"If I use those frames for honey again, will they discolor it the same? "

yes, it will be discolored. not sure to what degree. no need to scrape back to the foundation, just leave it be..........if you mix all your honey together from all the frames it's really not going to matter in the big picture.
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