Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: Simondsrach on March 15, 2017, 11:44:23 am

Title: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Simondsrach on March 15, 2017, 11:44:23 am
I'm thinking about buying a queen excluder to add to my hive ... good idea or bad... what would be the down fall if any
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: iddee on March 15, 2017, 11:53:29 am
Ask 9 beekeepers.
3 will say use them.
3 will say don't.
3 will say either/or.
I suggest not using them the first 2 years you keep bees. They do have limitations you need to learn before using them.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Simondsrach on March 15, 2017, 12:03:49 pm
I'm finding this true with any thing I research. 
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: iddee on March 15, 2017, 12:11:54 pm
Many times a 20 year beekeeper will not remember how little he knew the first year, so advises as if the newbee has been at it for years.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: mikecva on March 15, 2017, 12:31:42 pm
Most Russian bees I have had were larger then the average Italian bee. I do not use an excluder with the larger bees but I do use an excluder on all of my Italian hives.  -Mike
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: sawdstmakr on March 15, 2017, 12:50:25 pm
I do not use them to keep the q out of supers.
If the queen does not have enough room to lay eggs it will cause swarming. Sometimes the bees will not move up and it will cause swarming
If you forget and leave it on for winter you could trap your queen below it and kill her during the middle of winter.
It slows the bees trying to get to the supers with nectar.
Just a few reasons.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: gww on March 15, 2017, 01:38:58 pm
I would think they are useful for some hive manipulations and maby in making splits or a queen.
Cheers
gww
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Simondsrach on March 15, 2017, 01:57:06 pm
I have a bottom entrance.   I saw something about adding another entrance before the honey supers ... that the sun light at the top entrance keeps the queen from wanting to travel up .... I'd hate to use an excluder and block bees or irritate the bees would a second entrance be a helpful solution as long as I removed it before winterizing
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: bwallace23350 on March 15, 2017, 02:02:31 pm
I am not using them but I am also not worried about making comb honey. They are only really needed if you are making comb honey.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: little john on March 15, 2017, 06:20:58 pm
Ask 9 beekeepers.
3 will say use them.
3 will say don't.
3 will say either/or.

And if you ask 10 ... one (this one) will say that if you intend using a queen excluder, consider using a  plywood Q/X - which has the advantage of not being bee-size-dependent; doesn't interfere very much with traffic flow; and doesn't damage wings ... and it's yet another piece of beekeeping kit you can make yourself for next to nothing.

Not recommended if you need to keep two queens apart, but ideal if you just want to keep the queen from entering a specific box.
LJ
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: cao on March 15, 2017, 10:05:28 pm
I guess I'm one of the three beekeepers that don't use them.  Five years in and I have not found that I have needed one yet.  As far as entrances, I use a bottom entrance reduced to 2 or 3 inches long all year. 
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Oldbeavo on March 16, 2017, 08:25:16 am
Queens left in the bottom don't die over winter, we have 300 hives that run excluders ( steel) and a friend who runs 1600 hives run QX all year round.
If it gets cold bees will wax them over to keep warm. If there are not enough bees in late Autumn we will take the super off and pack them down to a single for winter.
If you run a few hives and take individual frames to harvest honey then a QX may not be necessary. Without a QX we could not harvest honey by taking the whole super home to extract.
If you take the super off and there are bees on the QX, a puff of smoke and those varmits are through that QX pretty quick, maybe we have smaller bees in Oz.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Acebird on March 16, 2017, 12:21:42 pm
maybe we have smaller bees in Oz.
No, you have a much shorter and warmer winter.  The OP is from Waverly NY.  If you use an excluder don't leave it on in NY.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Hops Brewster on March 16, 2017, 03:10:39 pm
I don't use QE routinely, but they can come in handy sometimes, so I keep a couple on hand.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: sawdstmakr on March 17, 2017, 12:20:04 am
I sometimes use them under the bottom box to keep the queen of a new swarm in the hive long enough to let the bees to start building comb. If you do this, don't forget to remove it within a week  in case you have a virgin queen.
Jim
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Oldbeavo on March 17, 2017, 07:49:57 am
Of topic but if you want a swarm to stay give them a frame of brood and this seems to stick them.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: GSF on March 17, 2017, 08:26:06 am


ditto, except I usually pull it off in 3 days and feed during those 3 days. I figure if they start putting up stores they have an investment in it.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: sawdstmakr on March 17, 2017, 12:42:48 pm
In a weeks time their stomachs are empty from building the comb. If there is not enough food in the hive for them to fill up on they cannot swarm again until they have built up their stores. By this time they have brood to anchor them.
Jim
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: William F Abell Jr on March 17, 2017, 07:58:49 pm
I use them in making splits to help locate the queen. Also, use them in the spring nectar flow coupled with Imirie shims. At harvest time they are used again to make sure I have isolated the queen below. Often, to harvest I blow some of the bees out of the supers and I don't want to worry about the queen. After harvest and any last splits, I remove them. The fall flow is for the bees so QE's are not needed.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: yes2matt on March 22, 2017, 03:38:15 pm
Ask 9 beekeepers.
3 will say use them.
3 will say don't.
3 will say either/or.

And if you ask 10 ... one (this one) will say that if you intend using a queen excluder, consider using a  plywood Q/X - which has the advantage of not being bee-size-dependent; doesn't interfere very much with traffic flow; and doesn't damage wings ... and it's yet another piece of beekeeping kit you can make yourself for next to nothing.

Not recommended if you need to keep two queens apart, but ideal if you just want to keep the queen from entering a specific box.
LJ
LJ you don't get to just post a good idea like that without a pic or a link!!! :)  Some of us are trying to learn here.

Edit: I'm guessing the "plywood" option mentioned here. I also wonder about the fertilizer sack option, seems pretty smart if it works.
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/excludertypes.html
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: minz on March 22, 2017, 05:24:58 pm
I love them, and not just saying that to be contrary. That queen does not belong in the supers.
If you are in swarm season you can split the boxes with it and know where she is. You go in 10 days later you know everything in the top box is how old? You can find her without too much trouble and take your time / carefully finding her. So you have 2 deeps, 2 mediums-drop the top supers on the lid, the deep on top of that. Do a quick look for Queen cells, grab your now open frames to keep her working Put the QE on top of that box and sort slowly through the frames until you find her. Give her room and put it back together.
So no QE, what do you do? Gingerly tear down through 4 boxes trying to find the one with new eggs trying to see if there is QC? 40 frames.  Now it is time to pull honey- where is she? Again 40 frames. Now you have brood in your honey frames and honey in your brood frames? Maybe I have not been doing it long enough to ignore a patch of brood in my extracting frames. You let the bees clean up the wet boxes and now what do you do with honey frames that have had brood in them? Wax moth is generally looking for brood comb so if the queen is up in the supers you end up treating them rather than just tipping them up on edge and letting the air and light in.
I keep my chickens in the coop, cows in the pasture and queens in the brood nest.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: little john on March 22, 2017, 05:45:19 pm
Ask 9 beekeepers.
3 will say use them.
3 will say don't.
3 will say either/or.

And if you ask 10 ... one (this one) will say that if you intend using a queen excluder, consider using a  plywood Q/X - which has the advantage of not being bee-size-dependent; doesn't interfere very much with traffic flow; and doesn't damage wings ... and it's yet another piece of beekeeping kit you can make yourself for next to nothing.

Not recommended if you need to keep two queens apart, but ideal if you just want to keep the queen from entering a specific box.
LJ
LJ you don't get to just post a good idea like that without a pic or a link!!! :)  Some of us are trying to learn here.

Edit: I'm guessing the "plywood" option mentioned here. I also wonder about the fertilizer sack option, seems pretty smart if it works.
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/excludertypes.html

Sorry mate ...   :oops:

Here's the one I made (yes - got the idea from that Dave Cushman page) - it worked perfectly - it's a method certainly worth trying-out if you have the need :
http://heretics-guide.site90.com/beek15a.htm  (2nd photo from top)

There's also some chat about 'soft' inner covers (we call 'em crown boards) at:
http://heretics-guide.site90.com/beek02.htm 
They may suit you ok - Mike Palmer happily uses them, as does Michael Bush - I'm not all that keen now that I've found a superb hard material to use instead.  But if I hadn't then I'd probably still be working on that method.

LJ
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Oldbeavo on March 22, 2017, 06:33:45 pm
I agree with Minz, I want to know where the queen is when I want to find her, only look through 8 frames and the box.
I can see where the ply QX's may work but the day if I can't find the queen I would always be thinking has she sneaked up top.
We can do  splits by putting frames of brood and eggs (that we have shaken the bees off into the hive) up in the super above the Qx. Next day just take the brood and egg frames that the nurse bees have gone up to look after, and put them in a 4 or 5 frame nuc. So I can make a slpit and not see the queen. Save time even though it is 2 trips to the hives to do it.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: herbhome on March 22, 2017, 06:39:15 pm
LJ,

I looked at the photo but I can't figure how it excludes the queen. Could you explain?
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: sawdstmakr on March 22, 2017, 10:17:25 pm
A laying queen will stay on the brood area. Normally the brood does not extend into the corners so the queen only sees the solid center area and will not go up through the holes.
Jim
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: herbhome on March 22, 2017, 11:15:23 pm
Thanks Jim,

That actually makes a lot of sense. Wonder why more keeps aren't using them.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: little john on March 23, 2017, 05:09:20 am
Thanks Jim,

That actually makes a lot of sense. Wonder why more keeps aren't using them.

Because they're not being sold by the Beekeeping Supplies outfits ... ?

Expanding on what Jim said - a queen wants to lay eggs in wax comb, and spends her time wandering around looking for empty cells in which to lay - so when she encounters a few inches of solid wood, she turns around and retreats back onto wax comb.

If you look at http://www.beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=49865.0  (first photograph, post #7), that partition (follower) board does exactly the same job, using the same principle.  I got wise to this from the Bienenkiste hive design.  Here's a shot showing their simple Q/X construction (hive is upside-down) :

(http://i66.tinypic.com/2i9t6z5.jpg)


And here's what results:

(http://i64.tinypic.com/29vnf9h.jpg)


BTW, I see no reason why frames couldn't be inserted into the 'honey area' to enable extraction, rather than engage in crush and strain.

But - for Absolute exclusion - as when queens might meet, or for when a box of bees MUST be queenless (as when making-up Q-ve nucs), then I'd always use a wire excluder.  "Horses for courses", as they say. :)
LJ
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Michael Bush on March 23, 2017, 10:49:48 am
>I love them, and not just saying that to be contrary. That queen does not belong in the supers.

I use all the same size boxes and no excluder.  I allow as much drone comb as they want in the brood nest.  The queen seldom leaves what I see as the brood nest to lay.  I would say that most of the time, brood in the supers is because they want some drone comb and cocoons are too hard to tear down.  But in the end I always say it is impossible for the queen to lay in my supers.  If they queen lays in it, it's not a super, it's a brood box.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm#excluders

Here is Isaac Hopkins quoting himself on queen excluders:

"Queen Excluders... are very useful in queen rearing, and in uniting colonies; but for the purpose they are generally used, viz., for confining the queen to the lower hive through the honey season, I have no hesitation in condemning them. As I have gone into this question fully on a previous occasion, I will quote my remarks:--

"The most important point to observe during the honey season in working to secure a maximum crop of honey is to keep down swarming, and the main factors to this end, as I have previously stated, are ample ventilation of the hives, and adequate working-room for the bees. When either or both these conditions are absent, swarming is bound to take place. The free ventilation of a hive containing a strong colony is not so easily secured in the height of the honey season, even under the best conditions, that we can afford to take liberties with it; and when the ventilating--space between the lower and upper boxes is more than half cut off by a queen-excluder, the interior becomes almost unbearable on hot days. The results under such circumstances are that a very large force of bees that should be out working are employed fanning-, both inside and out, and often a considerable part of the colony will be hanging outside the hive in enforced idleness until it is ready to swarm.

"Another evil caused by queen-excluders, and tending to the same end--swarming--is that during a brisk honey-flow the bees will not readily travel through them to deposit their loads of surplus honey in the supers, but do store large quantities in the breeding-combs, and thus block the breeding-space. This is bad enough at any time, but the evil is accentuated when it occurs in the latter part of the season. A good queen gets the credit of laying from two to three thousand eggs per day: supposing she is blocked for a few days, and loses the opportunity of laying, say, from fifteen hundred to two thousand eggs each day, the colony would quickly dwindle down, especially as the average life of the bee in the honey season is only about six weeks.

"For my part I care not where the queen lays--the more bees the more honey. If she lays in some of the super combs it can be readily rectified now and again by putting the brood below, and side combs of honey from the lower box above; some of the emerging brood also may be placed at the side of the upper box to give plenty of room below. I have seen excluders on in the latter part of the season, the queens idle for want of room, and very little brood in the hives, just at a time when it is of very great importance that there should be plenty of young bees emerging."--Isaac Hopkins, The Australasian Bee Manual
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: BeePastor on April 20, 2017, 02:04:45 pm
Ask 9 beekeepers.
3 will say use them.
3 will say don't.
3 will say either/or.

And if you ask 10 ... one (this one) will say that if you intend using a queen excluder, consider using a  plywood Q/X - which has the advantage of not being bee-size-dependent; doesn't interfere very much with traffic flow; and doesn't damage wings ... and it's yet another piece of beekeeping kit you can make yourself for next to nothing.

Not recommended if you need to keep two queens apart, but ideal if you just want to keep the queen from entering a specific box.
LJ
LJ you don't get to just post a good idea like that without a pic or a link!!! :)  Some of us are trying to learn here.

Edit: I'm guessing the "plywood" option mentioned here. I also wonder about the fertilizer sack option, seems pretty smart if it works.
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/excludertypes.html
Thank you for this link.  Very helpful


Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Acebird on April 20, 2017, 05:06:53 pm
And here's what results:

(http://i64.tinypic.com/29vnf9h.jpg)

I sure wouldn't want that configuration up here.  I don't think too many would make it through winter.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: little john on April 21, 2017, 05:06:14 am
I sure wouldn't want that configuration up here.  I don't think too many would make it through winter.

This thread is about the use of Queen Excluders (or not) - not about winter survivability. 

FWIW, the picture shown is of a summer inspection.  During late Summer, the upper combs (equivalent to a honey super) as shown in the picture above the permanently-installed QX are removed, and that area - after being used for Autumn/Fall feeding - is then 'dummied-down' with insulation, so is no longer accessible to the bees.  The Bienenkiste Hive is a modern version of the hives which first began to be used in Eastern Europe during the 17th and 18th Centuries - most famously by people like Anton Janscha - at considerable altitude, and under conditions sufficiently hostile enough that many beekeepers began keeping these hives inside open-fronted sheds, and even bee-houses.  This particular hive is thus based on a proven design with a pedigree extending back over several centuries.
LJ
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Acebird on April 21, 2017, 08:34:27 am
This particular hive is thus based on a proven design with a pedigree extending back over several centuries.
LJ

Almost everything in use is a proven design until something better comes along.  The idea of a permanent queen excluder in a managed hive to me is a major design flaw.
Title: Re: Queen excluder to use or not to use
Post by: Captain776 on April 22, 2017, 03:22:02 am
I am new and was on the fence whether to use or not use QE.
Now after further reading, I am not going to use one, it seems the majority of Beekeepers do not use them.
I am listening to guys with 25-50 yrs of Beekeeping experience and they say they never use them.
Naturally.......if the Queen has available space in Bood Boxes, she doesn't go looking for Supers.