some thoughts on queen excluders

From: user 2.
Sent on: Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:18 PM
Some thoughts on queen excluders for those who were wondering
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter L. Borst" <[address removed]>
Sent: Saturday, August 18,[masked]:13 PM
Subject: [BEE-L] Queen excluders revisited

> Greetings
> I wanted to say I had such an enjoyable time with the Catskill Mountain
> Beekeepers Club on Aug 14th. I am afraid not too of many them read this, but
> thanks anyway.
> The subject of queen excluders came up and I expressed the opinion that "one
> half of the room uses them and the other half doesn't, and they'll never
> agree on it".
> Then, a nice lady asked me point blank "what would you do?" I am afraid I
> dodged that bullet. I suppose the answer is neither, because I don't own
> bees at present (NY State Apiary Inspectors are not allowed to own bees).
> The real answer is: it depends. It depends on what you like. It also depends
> on how you take want to take your honey off. I used to use "Bee Go" and with
> fume boards, queen excluders are not necessary and probably get in the way.
> I know one beekeeper that uses bee escape boards extensively and they won't
> really work if there's brood in the honey. And you can easily trap a queen
> up. If you use a blower, you stand the chance of blowing the queen, if she's
> in the honey supers.
> Without queen excluders and especially if you use all the same size frame,
> you can easily put the brood frames down when you take off the honey, either
> with fumes or by (ugh) brushing and shaking. If you get a little brood back
> to the honey house, you can just put it into hives you have there for this
> purpose.
> I like the idea of a one story brood nest enforced by a queen excluder. It
> makes a very efficient and well organized hive. However, those years of
> running bees without excluders probably accounts for the lingering notion
> that you may get a better hive and more honey by not restricting the colony
> in any way.
> A third way is the use a deep or two and then all shallows, with no
> excluder. The larger brood combs seem to hold the queen in the brood nest;
> the smaller frames seem less inviting to her and she is not apt to wander up
> very often.
> Pete
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