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Author Topic: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!  (Read 527 times)

Offline OjaB

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Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« on: June 14, 2018, 03:49:31 pm »
Hey everyone. As I mentioned in the 'welcome' post above, I am very new/inexperienced to the beekeeping game and inadvertently ran into some questions about what is evidently one of the biggest debates between us today: Queen excluders.

I have no familial/generational experience with beekeeping and have been relying primarily on books and youtube videos to get by with how to care for the hive. The beginning of this season, we had 2 very well developed deep broods and decided it was time to attempt our first honey super. Since we were relying on the books, we went with the excluder. We placed in excluder as directed and I understood the intent behind it.

The issue is, after about a month, the bees had not laid any groundwork for comb at all! We were confused and frustrated. It was as if they were refusing to comb out frames without the queen first 'scenting' the area. There were 3-4 dozen workers and drones porching in and around the honey super and roof, so it was not like they couldn't get there.

So we took the excluder out.


The results were unreal. Within 2 weeks, not only had all the frames been combed out, but half of them were filled completely with honey. The other half were a mix of honey and brood. We took the honey only ones for a small harvest.

I guess my question is: Is it normal that the queen 'self segregates' some zones JUST for honey, and some for both honey and brood? I was even more confused about the efficacy and necessity of the queen excluders after this.


After the harvest, we put the drained frames back in the hive. Am I to expect that those frames will continue to be zoned for "just honey"? That seems unlikely to me. Maybe the queen just hadn't gotten to that area yet?


Please let me know about any tips or ideas you have. I want to get a honey harvest for sure but don't want to risk killing a generation of bees to do it. The queen excluder seemed to keep bees from developing the area, but leaving it out lets the queen, or more specifically MY queen, lay eggs in around half of the frames.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 05:15:43 pm »
Ojab,
A lot of experienced beekeepers don?t use QE. If you use one you need to move a frame or two up above the excluder to force the bees to move up. I do not you them. They also cause swarming due to the Queen being able to lay as many eggs as she wants to.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 05:28:35 pm »
First, the queen does not segregate areas for honey or brood, she simply searches for empty cells that have been cleaned by the house bees. The house bees clean and add pheromones that guide the queen to the empty cells. 

You say you had well developed deep broods, does that mean you had comb drawn in the deep hive bodies that you intend to use for the brood area of the colony?  If this is what you had at the beginning of the surplus nectar flow the process for adding an excluder and a surplus honey super of foundation should have been as follows;

1.  Find the queen and place her in the bottom deep with a frame of food stores on each side and the deep frames of uncapped larvae in the center of the box.  Fill the remaining empty space with frames of sealed brood.  On top of this deep hive body put the queen excluder.

2.  Above the queen excluder place the second deep hive body with the remaining frames of capped brood, and above this place the surplus honey supers with the foundations to be drawn out.  Because there is brood above the excluder the nurse bees will pass through the excluder to care for the brood, as the brood emerges the young bees will begin filling the cells with nectar and drawing out the foundation in the super above.  When drawing foundation it is best to not give the bees more than one super of foundations at a time, unless your nectar flow is great.  When the bees have the first super 70 to 80% drawn out add the next.

Bees are very slow to draw comb if they have to work above an excluder, with nothing above the excluder to attract the 5 to 18 day old house bees that are the colony wax workers.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 05:53:32 pm »
Question: Is going through an excluder a learnt thing?
All our bees have QX's, when we make new hives we do not have the problem of not using the super. Because they are born under an excluder and use it then when we make a new hive it is automatic.
Hive do not get a super until they start putting honey in the lid, in other words the hive is full we need more space.
Our single new hive will run a QX under the lid so when adding the new super we don't have to worry if she is in the lid comb.

From the first problem, did the honey flow coincide with the QX removal, they did not need to use the super when the QX was in place.
In 2 weeks you have a lot more bees from hatching plus a honey flow, would have they used it anyway if left in place.

QX's: stationary hives - optional.   Migratory hives - essential.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 08:18:47 pm »
  Migratory hives - essential.

Why ???
John 3:16

Offline sawdstmakr

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Offline Barhopper

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 09:18:08 pm »
 They also cause swarming due to the Queen being able to lay as many eggs as she wants to.
Jim
Huh?
I think you meant unable.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 01:00:40 am »
That is correct. Thanks.
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline LizzieBee

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 02:02:42 am »
I?m having the same problem with my bees not drawing the comb in the super. I have a queen excluder underneath the super. I really don?t want the queen laying eggs on the super frames. It?s been two weeks since I added the super and QE. Would it help if I had an upper entrance?

Lizzie

Offline eltalia

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 03:40:09 am »
I shall build another 'detailed' contribution but for now this graphic
 will suffice as picturing what bees think when the b'keep thinks
excluders are redundant... heh :-)))

Bill

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Offline eltalia

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 03:43:07 am »
I?m having the same problem with my bees not drawing the comb in the super. I have a
queen excluder underneath the super. I really don?t want the queen laying eggs on the
super frames. It?s been two weeks since I added the super and QE. Would it help if I had
an upper entrance?

Lizzie
Is there any flow on at all Liz?

Bill

Offline LizzieBee

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 02:16:10 pm »
Yes it?s the beginning of crape myrtles and Chinese tallows blooming. There are a lot in my area. Blackberries are still blooming, but not as much. Should I have an upper entrance to the super?

Lizzie
Upper entrances would help once the bees decide to build in the super.
Jim
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 04:56:00 pm by sawdstmakr »

Offline Acebird

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2018, 05:03:30 pm »
It was as if they were refusing to comb out frames without the queen first 'scenting' the area.
The scenting will come when you get the bees to accept the space as part of their hive.  The best trick to do that is what has already been said.  Pull up a frame of brood without the queen above the QE.  If the boxes are different sizes then you have to use the larger box and deal with the bees drawing comb on the bottom bars of the shorter frames.  Another way is to make a short brood frame by putting that in the brood nest and again dealing with comb on the bottom bar.  Once you have a bait frame it can be used for this purpose every time you start a new hive with different size boxes.  Don't get stuck on not having brood in a few supper frames.  Just mark them and keep track of them.
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Offline moebees

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2018, 07:37:07 pm »
Yes it?s the beginning of crape myrtles and Chinese tallows blooming. There are a lot in my area. Blackberries are still blooming, but not as much. Should I have an upper entrance to the super?

Lizzie
Upper entrances would help once the bees decide to build in the super.
Jim

Move some capped brood above the excluder.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Offline LizzieBee

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2018, 02:42:19 pm »
Moebees, my honey super is shallower than my brood boxes so I cannot move capped brood above the excluder. I could move the excluder between the two brood boxes and have the queen underneath the QE. I?m going to give them a few more days and then I might change things around. Today there were large clusters of bees on a few of the super frames as if they were going to draw some comb.

Lizzie

Offline moebees

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2018, 02:53:51 pm »
Moebees, my honey super is shallower than my brood boxes so I cannot move capped brood above the excluder. I could move the excluder between the two brood boxes and have the queen underneath the QE. I?m going to give them a few more days and then I might change things around. Today there were large clusters of bees on a few of the super frames as if they were going to draw some comb.

Lizzie

Sorry to hear that.  Another of the reasons to use one size frame.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Offline Acebird

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2018, 06:02:45 pm »
Don't put the excluder between the brood boxes.  I gave you two methods on how to get a frame up to the super.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 12:48:31 pm »
>Question: Is going through an excluder a learnt thing?

Yes.  It is.  That's why putting some brood above the excluder helps.  Most people who use excluders all the time successfully have drawn comb to put above the excluder.  Drawn comb is somewhat attractive to the bees looking for somewhere to put honey.  Empty frames of foundation or foundationless are not at all attractive to the bees.  Brood above the excluder will force them to go through the excluder and once they get used to it they are much more inclined to do so.

I don't find them very useful except when queen rearing.

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

My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline eltalia

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 06:22:28 pm »
>Question: Is going through an excluder a learnt thing?

Yes.  It is.
(edit)

The problem I and others - millions of others - have Michael is in accepting
management is dismissed, or denied if you like, over "learnt" which
implies that once 'taught' bees will fall into line and repeat, automagicly.
That is a false premise and one shared by all "set and forget" b'keeps as
was the practice back when Issac put his wisdoms before us to absorb
and for some others to then repeat as 'excuse'.

Production colonies are work, hard work... manipulations to achieve
efficencies are not usually the focus of backyard beekeepers.

Bill

(edit for St. Vidas Dance taipoes)

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Help with Queen Excluders vs. Honey excluders?!
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2018, 01:06:03 am »
Been away for a while
For SC Bee and Jim Qx essential for migratory bee keepers, why?
My opinion.
When we shift bees weight is an issue, most hives are shifting as doubles, one hive and one super that hopefully is not very full. A double hive and a super would put me over weight and mean I shift less hives per shift. Our shifts are from 60 mile to over 200 mile.
At honey collection we work with full supers, new one on and full one off, using a bee escape/clearer board. I don't want to have to worry or look to see if there is brood in with the honey. Supers are then taken back to base for extraction.
So having the queen in one box is useful.
Also if honey flow is good then we can add another super and only be 3 high, which becomes 4 high when we add the bee escape and empty super. Which becomes hard work if you are harvesting a lot of hives.
When inspecting hives it is easier, quicker to only have to look in one box, rather than somewhere in the hive.
I am happy to listen to any management that doesn't use Qx's in a migratory situation and not extracting on site.