Dangers of queen excluders

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by DLMKA, May 19, 2012.

  1. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I went and bought a couple of 2nd year hives from a guy that found out the hard way he was deathly allergic. Went out and looked through everything after he left (probably should have done it before but he had to get back for a graduation party. One hive appeared to be queenless. It was a split this spring. Still a decent cluster and some capped drone brood. There were a handful of empty queen cells but I didn't see any eggs in my quick inspection. The next active hive was two deeps and a medium super. I was excited to steal a frame of capped honey but was surprised to find it full of capped and uncapped brood since it had a queen excluder. Each box had a hole drilled for an entrance. Since he hasn't been managing the hive i'm guessing it swarmed at least 3 weeks ago and the new queen came into the medium super and filled it with brood. I removed the excluder, stapled some hardware cloth on the upper entrance holes and took out the entrance reducer between the bottom board and bottom deep. When I move them tomorrow I'm going to put the medium with brood on the bottom with a single deep above it until the queen fills it. I'll have to rob some eggs for the queenless hive and see if they'll raise a new queen.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You probably had a queen above and below the excluder. You could have introduced one to the queenless hive if it doesn't have laying workers or a drone laying queen.
     

  3. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    Nothing in the deeps below the excluder.
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    you know I hate to say it but nothing dangerous about using the queen excluders. Using them in a proper fashion is what It's all about. And being so lazy ( I read the reasons given for not working his bees ) excluders are used for most specific purposes. Not to be left inplace year around. There is no real excuse for that kind of neglect
    Barry
     
  5. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    I have excluders on a few hives and a few I dont ( the hives that are big enough to get honey supers) trying to decide if I like using them or not, none of my hives are even a year old yet, so far the queens have stayed in the bottom 2 deeps in the hives that dont have them and its working out well, and its almost too close to call what group is putting more honey away but the hives without are just a little bit ahead it seems.
     
  6. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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  7. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    BjornBee, can you elaborate for a newbee? Why does brood in the supers make a difference for wax moth?
     
  8. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Andy,
    Wax moths really are after the organic matter within the hive and not so much the wax. They favor the dark comb which has many layers of cocoons built up inside the cells. If you have a dark frame of wax and a light comb of wax, they will go after the dark wax first.

    If you keep your honey supers free of brood being raised in them, keep your supers "dry" and not store them wet (and without pollen), and expose them to a little light by stacking them in a staggered manner, then you can keep wax moths out of the boxes and from damaging the stored comb. For those not wanting to use the standard chemical crystals, clean comb in the supers is a good way to start.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Still a decent cluster and some capped drone brood.

    tecumseh:
    not certain I got a full picture of the hives you bought but..... in a hive undergoing 'natural' queen replacement at the point where only a very few drone cells are left (all of these being capped) is about the right time to BEGIN looking for eggs laid by the new queen.
     
  10. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I was thinking it's very likely that I have a newly mated or soon to be newly mated queen. I'll have to confirm but I think he said he split them about a month ago. I figure it couldn't be more than 24 days or all that drone brood would be emerged. Unless there is laying workers. I moved them last night and will take a closer look in a few days.


    I guess i should have been more specific and said don't use an excluder with upper entrances. I'm 99% certain the hive swarmed and the new queen came back in the upper entrance above the excluder. The super was PACKED with capped brood. I was going to send these hives to my dad's farm but i'm going to keep them close and get them into better shape before the go down there.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    once you KNOW that there is a active properly mated queen, use the excluder and rotate the super under the brood chamber, once the queen moves up into the brood chamber, place another brood chamber on top, and cycle the super above the brood chambers, closing the upper entrances with duct tape at first just to prevent another occurance by the queen bypassing the excluder again lol. this would have the hatching brood being displaced by incoming nectar. I would think the excluder is quite a mess with propolis and wax and will need a good cleaning.
    Barry
     
  12. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    There are two hives at play here. Hive 1 is the split with a single deep, decent cluster, and just some remaining drone brood. I'll check for fresh eggs this week sometime. If nothing I'll move a frame of eggs from another hive and see if they can raise another one.

    Hive two is the one that had two deeps, queen excluder, med super full of brood, and a hive top feeder. I found the queen on the burr comb in the feeder. She's laying anywhere she can find a spot! After I moved them to my yard I shook all the bees out of the bottom deep and reconfigured it so that the med full of brood is on the bottom with a single deep above it. Next weekend I'll move things around again and move the med above the deep and add another med (running 1 deep and 2 meds for brood chamber on every hive).
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    although it ain't traditional* there is nothing wrong with a hive that 'looks' somewhat inverted. that is a medium on the bottom and the deep on top. a lot of times my winter configuration looks a bit like this since it makes accessing the frame feeder so much easier (I only need slide the top off to one side to fill the frame feeder)

    *a long time ago when I was a single person I rented a house with a former marine who we called 'snake bite'. he defined tradition as something for which at one time there was a good reason but enough time had passed so that no one could recall exactly what the reason was.
     
  14. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I intend on moving the medium back up on top of the deep after the brood has mostly hatched or early in the spring. I'll see what the queen is doing in the next couple weeks. I have half a mind to throw a box of bare foundation on top to get them to draw them out while we have a good flow going on. Not sure if it will work, I don't think there is enough nurse bees to cover a deep and two mediums just yet, they may not bother drawing comb if they don't need it yet.