Followup To Queen Excluder Use

Three weeks ago I bought my first set of queen excluders (you can read about that decision here).


This weekend I went back into the hives to check and see if the queen did stay below the excluder and if the brood that was in the super frames had emerged.


When I opened the top super I was relieved to find that plenty of worker bees were walking around the frames. I had feared they would be trapped and not be able to squeeze through the exlcuder. I suppose I had nothing to worry about.


I pulled the supers all the way off, exposing the queen excluder and saw they built some burr comb above and below the excluder, which I figure was to act as a ladder and help them to grab onto the bars and pass through.



What I was really interested in was pulling one of the super frames that had brood in them for the last several weeks.



I pulled frame after frame from the supers and they were all free of any brood. In fact, the bees were backfilling the frames with nectar from a small flow going on right now. It's been so hot and dry for several weeks, where it's coming from I'm not sure.


The uncapped honey measures betwen 19-21% moisture right now. I'll give them another week or two and then pull the last of the supers for the year, extract them and store them for winter.


I'm glad to know the queen excluder did it's job and kept the queen below the supers, but I think I'll continue to operate without queen excluders during the spring and summer and only use them as a technique to clear the supers from brood (if needed) during fall right before winter storage.

Comments For This Post: (8) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   September 11, 2013, 2:55 pm

Yeah, I bought my queen excluders when I purchased all my beginning equipment and have never used them yet!  =)

Robin says...
Date:   September 11, 2013, 6:14 pm

What Mark said.   I've got mine in a safe place, but haven't used it yet.   My bee guy here suggested putting it on to let the bees cover in propolis.  Then you chill it, twist it and pop the propolis off to sell or use.  Clever. 

Mark Martin says...
Date:   September 12, 2013, 12:10 pm

If I ever catch a swarm I would probably use one of them for a queen "includer" but alas, that has not happened yet   =(

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   September 12, 2013, 2:10 pm

Mark- That's an interesting concept I'd not considered before. Using an excluder to keep a queen inside of hive of a freshly caught swarm. Thank you -  I'll have to keep that in mind for next swarm season!

Notes from a Small Apiary says...
Date:   September 13, 2013, 7:34 am

I use them to keep the honey frames brood free, otherwise it cannot be used as cut comb. When I finally remove the supers, which will be in the next few days if it ever stops raining, I'm planning to use queen excluders as mouse excluders by strapping them vertically at the front of the hive.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   September 13, 2013, 3:13 pm

Chris - yeah, I think I picked up that idea from Michael Bush.

Small Apiary - I would think all your drones should be getting pretty close to getting the boot by now.  So strapping the excluder to the front of the hive should probably work for a mouse guard.

Scott Myhre says...
Date:   September 14, 2013, 10:51 am

I call them Honey Excluder's. Never use em and never will and I have yet to have brood in a super. It is very hard on the "girl's" wings when they pass through and a study has proven they lose on average 1 to 2 weeks of production. Every time they go through, it scrapes off natural oils and weakens the wing structure. I believe it's just another gimmick for Dadant and others to make money.  Just sayin.

Scott Myhre says...
Date:   September 14, 2013, 11:10 am

One more followup, it appears that in the picture you have posted for the reason to use a queen excluder is that you put your super on too early. If they have slowed on drinking sugar water and there is a good flow, the workers will fill it before the queen can move up. If they have nothing to fill it with then she gets the idea that she is welcome up there. As you say this is a hotly debated subject but I know that timing is everything!  But then again, you can ask ten beekeepers a question and get 15 answers.  {:0)

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