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Author Topic: to exclude or not to exclude  (Read 1153 times)

Offline 10framer

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to exclude or not to exclude
« on: May 15, 2014, 02:36:26 pm »
this year i picked my 6 strongest hives and decided to experiment a little.  i put excluders on two and not the other four to see how fast the bees drew out comb and filled it.
i have one hive that has been a super producer that is working on it's third medium right now  but i have two more that are dragging and one that is starting on it's first medium.  the two hives with excluders include one on it's third and another one on it's first but it had to draw out a deep to get there and it also suffered a set back during the last frost. 
this is by no means scientific but in my mind it says what i've always thought.  excluders probably don't really make that much of a difference. 
i know it gets knocked around a lot and a lot of people think the bees won't work above them but is there any actual scientific proof?  i'm just curious because i plan to get back up to 400 or so hives again in a couple of years and it offers a lot of convenience to use them at that level but it saves a lot of expense to not use them.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 03:57:05 pm »
  this is by no means scientific but in my mind it says what i've always thought.  excluders probably don't really make that much of a difference. 


I think you already know this but..... where it makes a difference is queen laying room (swarms) and building the size of the foraging force IMHO.
John 3:16

Offline mikecva

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 04:06:39 pm »
Three years I had one crazy queen that got up to the second super and started laying eggs. I did not spot this until I had five mediums with brood. Luck came my way and I was able to get a new queen for the split. Dumb me I did not replace the crazy queen and darned if she did not cross a lot of honey the mess up the new supers (I checked and the new bees were very strong workers) although I never saw the queen again and started using an excluder I was surprised that the new bees were the fastest comb drawing bees I have seen and that queen must have dropped 1200 - 1500 eggs a day.

 Today I use excluders only when the bees do not have at least 3" of honey at the top in the top brood chamber.

After this last winter, I wish I had that craze queen back.  -Mike
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Offline kathyp

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 04:06:58 pm »
it's not that the bees don't work above them. they do...after the work is started.  the biggest problem is that they come recommended for new beekeepers, who have new foundation, etc. and the bees don't want to get up there and work.  no one tells the new beekeeper and the hives swarm.  

once the bees are up there and working, they'll keep going back to finish the work.

i just find them one bother that i don't need except for doing comb honey.  of all the things that can be skipped, this is a big one for me.
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
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Offline 10framer

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 04:32:26 pm »
steve,
my point was more about bees not drawing comb or storing less honey above excluders.  for the last 15 years i've been hearing people say that but i've never really experienced it.
mike, i had one last year that would lay from top to bottom no matter how tall you stacked it. 
kathyp, i think it depends on the bees.  one of the hives with no excluder has the brood chamber in a medium and the deep below it i filled with 80 percent stores and they just won't move up to the next super. 
those bees are going to be a genetic dead end in a month or so anyway,  they are pretty nasty when there isn't a flow on.

Offline RHBee

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 06:11:04 pm »
I'm not using excluders this year, except for a few manipulations. One of them will be to clear brood from honey frames. When I am ready to harvest I'm going to place an excluder below supers that have some brood in them and allow them to hatch out. Using all mediums allows me to sort through frame by frame. It sure sounds complicated. I'd rather confine the queen with an excluder and be done with it. I've just heard so much negative information about excluders and how they impact honey production I thought I'd give this method a try.
Later,
Ray

Offline sc-bee

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 06:28:21 pm »
steve,
my point was more about bees not drawing comb or storing less honey above excluders.  for the last 15 years i've been hearing people say that but i've never really experienced it.


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Offline iddee

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 06:50:38 pm »
The thing left out here is comb. With drawn comb above the excluder, it usually works fine. With foundation above it, it usually does not work fine. They will readily go through an excluder to get to drawn comb, but will ignore foundation above it. I don't think you will see a difference in production once they start using the upper supers
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Offline 10framer

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 07:35:50 pm »
iddee, all the mediums except the one with brood were filled with foundation (that hive doesn't have an excluder).  the bees have been crossing the excluder to draw comb at about the same rate as the bees without them. 
ray, that doesn't sound like a bad plan.

Offline iddee

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 07:40:52 pm »
That is an exception. Most times they totally pack below the excluder and still won't move up through it, unless they have started in the super before installing it.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline 10framer

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2014, 12:53:48 pm »
i bought 120 hives when i was about 14 and put all new foundation above the excluders the first spring and they went up and filled them out.  i've never really had the experience of bees not drawing above them. 

Offline Joe D

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Re: to exclude or not to exclude
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 08:39:19 pm »
Until last year I used old comb or foundationless frames with an excluder, no problems.  The end of honey extraction year before last, I removed all my excluders.  Last year was the first I have ever used new foundation, Rite Cell in wood frames,  I had one hive that would not draw it.  They would draw foundationless first.  That's my experience.




Joe