Queen Excluder ~ When to put it in

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by 40 Acre Bees, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

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    Well we added our first honey super (shallow foundation-less) to each of our hives just a little more than a week ago. We did not put the queen excluder in to encourage the bees to move up and start working. Well they are up and starting to draw some comb. At what point should we place the queen excluder in, and at what point should we add a second honey super. Thanks
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    you can add a queen excluder any time now. If you have about 4 inches of capped honey over top of your brood nest an excluder may not even be necessary. If you wait a while you may end up with some brood in the super, but it will hatch out and get back filled with honey. when only the outside frames are not drawn out, shift then to the middle and add another super. If you don't have SHB in your area, definitely add supers earlier rather than later.
     

  3. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    The opinions on use of a Queen Excluder is as varied as bellybuttons, everybody has one and they ain't all the same:wink:.
    I never use an Queen Excluder or as some call it a honey excluder. My Queens seem to prefer to lay in the larger frame area of the deeps but sometimes they will move up into a honey super, This in no way harms the honey and the queen normally moves back down into the deep chambers and the bees backfill the comb after the brood hatches.
    Some (me as well) feel that a queen excluder makes it harder for the worker bees to enter the honey super so they tend to store more in the brood area and crowd the queen, thus the name honey excluder.
    As far as adding the "second" honey super I do it after they have 8 or 9 of 10 frames drawn ( 7 or 8 in a 9 frame box)
    Hope this helps Jim
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A queen excluder is like a motorcycle. Very nice when used properly, but very dangerous for the inexperienced. Tec, who will praise an excluder very quickly, has over 50 years experience. Most new beeks are better off not using them.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I use queen excluders and don't have a problem with them, but like iddee said, they can cause problems if not used properly. I have a top and bottom entrance on all my hives (year round) and i think that helps, the bees can fly right to the super area without having to go through two deeps when going in the bottom entrance and through the excluder to get to the honey super. JMO. Jack
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would just keep an eye on what the bees are doing in that shallow super before adding the excluder. I try not to use them unless they give me reason. If the odd queen finds her way up and starts to lay up there, find and relocate her to the brood chamber and then put in your excluder. Bees can sometimes be reluctant to pass thru an excluder, but once they get used to it (especially if there is a bit of brood on the other side that has to hatch out) they will go thru it for the fun of it.
    Sounds like you may get a few frames in your first year. :wink: :thumbsup:
     
  7. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    Some local guys here that bees is there living tried something new this year. They only use deeps, so there are no shallow boxes. So when they split this past spring, their hives were in single boxes. Once it come time to add a second deep to it, they took two frames of brood & placed it in the second (top) deep, made sure the queen was in the bottom box, & put a excluder between the boxes. Having some brood in the top box caused the bees to go through the excluder quicker, & they became used to it quicker, & started drawing out the other frames quicker. They said this is the best year they have ever had, & credit this method for it. They always harvest the top deep, & feed the bees syrup to.
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The brood that hatched out above the excluder don't know the difference. :lol: Jack
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I will add here that for about the first 40 years of my beekeeping life I never used an excluder except for purposes related to queen rearing <all the commercial honey mentor I had worked for had pretty much convince me (notice this is an opinion not based on my own experience) that a queen excluder WAS a honey excluder. In more recent times I have use an excluder and if you also wish to do so then I would suggest you look up Jerry Hayes old article 'is a queen excluder a honey excluder' (published in the American Bee Journal in about 1984 or 1985) <this may suggest to you that an excluder does require a bit of thinking and consideration and more importantly it also require at least one upper entrance to be effective. Properly deployed it can limit (but not eliminate) some other problems such as swarming, skunk predation and ease of taking off the surplus honey.

    Lastly I would say that I am not in any way in disagreement with Iddee here about using an excluder and quite often tell folks new to beekeeping to stow that fancy tool in the garage until year 3 or 4 when their knowledge base and skill set is a bit more advanced. At some point a lot of folks decide they want to try and rear a few queen and that is an excellent opportunity to begin using an excluder.
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Like Jack (Brooksbeefarm) said, an entrance to the hive above the excluder makes things easier for the bees to enter from above. During a nice honeyflow, you can slide the supers above the excluder back far enough to make an entrance across the front of the hive. Just make sure to slide them back and close these extra entrances when the flow slows down. You don't want the bees to get robbed out from entrances too large for them to defend.
     
  11. stugger57

    stugger57 New Member

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    When to add super?

    I recently, two days ago, moved a ferel hive from the rafters in a shed into a hive. We put the bees into one deep super with the queen excluder between the bottom board and the super along with an entrance reducer so as to keep the queen in if we were successful in capturing her. The hive was massive and required vacuuming. I went back today and vacuumed again and added those bees to the deep super. There were so many bees that I decided to add another deep super to the top of the original. I left the queen excluder on the bottom board. Question: How long do I leave the excluder on the bottom board? Was it OK to add the second super this early? , can I put the excluder in between the first and second super later or just leave it off all together? keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Stugger57, Welcome to the forum. :hi:. Nice to have you come in posting about such a great capture. When you have a chance to breathe, tell us a bit about yourself.
    As to your questions:
    1. Once you see that the bees have settled down in their new hive and are working steadily (particularly if you see them bringing in pollen) you should be able to remove the excluder from its floorboard position.
    2. Since it's this late in the season, I would not place the excluder between the two supers. You don't expect to remove any honey and therefore it's not really important right now just where the queen settles down and sets up laying. In the spring, if necesssary, you can reorganize the hive and place the queen below the excluder.
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Great to see you found us Stugger57, and even better that you jumped right in and posted (we like that). :wink: :thumbsup:
    Ef has given you good advice, no need to place the excluder between the two boxes.
     
  14. stugger57

    stugger57 New Member

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    Thanks for the info! I went out and checked the hive this morning. The bees look like they are trying to adapt to their new home however since the shed is so close to the hive and the mess of honey left behind and the scope of the old hive in the shed I notice many many bees still flying around agitated. Looks like battles with robbers also. I guess now is the time to step back and let nature do its thing??
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Try to avoid letting robbing continue. If the combs aren't occupied at night (the bees having gone home), clean them off as well as you can so there will be nothing for them to fight over tomorrow. If the combs are covered with bees at night, just leave them alone, you've got no choice---messing with bees in the dark isn't a pleasant task, to say the least.
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would move the hive away from the shed after dark tonight. You don't want the robbers to get started on the hive.

    Then you can let them all clean up the shed.