Today I Made

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Bill Murray:

--- Quote ---They are easy to cut and are also inexpensive. I can buy them for about $5 each which is about a quarter of the price of steel ones.
--- End quote ---

I agree the cost of the metal excluders was what kept me from trying to manufacture what you just did. I was waiting for one to wear out. I thought about that and said My granddaughter would have to make it. Low and behold maybe a reason for the plastics.

Thanks les.

Ben Framed:
For the purpose of your intention, I am wondering why not simply use the old time wood queen cages or the plastic type, the types used when banking queens or in shipping queens?

Hi Phillip,

I like the idea of allowing nurse bees to actually enter the cage next to the queen rather than just touching her through the screen. The thinking is that the queens pheromones would?ve spread more effectively through the hive and reduce chances of swarm cells being built. Both of these methods also allow access to the queen from both sides of the frame.

Michael Bush:
If the attendants can't get to the queen you will eventually have a wax moth larvae in with the queen and she won't do anything about it.

Another idea that I?ve been mulling over is the idea of a frame holder to keep the queen in one location. This could be handy for making a hive broodless or for getting larvae of the correct age if I?m grafting. The idea of introducing a drone comb in with the queen also appears to have merit as it would attract varroa during the time that the rest of the hive is loosing capped brood.

When I was up in Sydney, a couple of plastic queen excluders were purchased to help with this project. The thinking was to make one frame cage and test it before spending  money on buying a few. There were a few technical problems that had to be solved before the construction started. Once they were sorted I got in and made the cage with very few issues. I decided to use 3mm plywood and strips of pine for the project. Bee space on the ends and under the frame had to be sacrificed but as it was only a temporary fixture, I thought the bees would handle it. I?ve read reports on some of the commercial cages available in Europe and America with mixed results coming through. Some allowed the queen to escape and others needed to be used on the outer edge of the brood box. I wanted to avoid both situations if possible.

The first step was to cut sides and a base out of the thin ply and then glue strips of pine in locations that would centre the frame and also aid as attach,ent points for the queen excluder. You may notice on the photo that a frame was sitting in place.


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