Queen Excluder and New Foundation

cjmones(7 Clt, NC)July 22, 2009

I attended Brushy Mountain Bee Farm's webinar on honey extraction last night and a response to a question gave me a tip that I thought I'd pass on and put out to you guys for validation.

The host said that you should refrain from putting on the queen excluder until the girls have built out the comb on the super's new foundation.

That may well explain why my super has sat there completely untouched all summer! I made all kinds of excuses for it: They didn't like foundation because I had left it outside in an unused super for too long. They didn't like the foundation because before I put it in the hive I found a giant gross cockroach climbing on it. The queen excluder now seems more likely a cause than them not liking cockroach residue. :)

Anyway I'm new and I hadn't heard that before.

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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

I have never tried a side by side comparison to say one way or the other. I do know from experience my bees do not draw comb well unless there is a good honey flow with or without an excluder. If my foundations are not full drawn by the beginning of summer they rarely are without a spike in the honey flow.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 6:58PM
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cjmones(7 Clt, NC)

Thanks for the reply. This is my second summer keeping bees and my biggest lesson was swarm control - they swarmed in April and I had a really slow recovery. I think I missed my window to have the supers' foundation built because of the workforce reduction and probably won't have another opportunity for the rest of the summer. I'll be hopeful as we approach fall.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:19AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I don't think excluder is the couse, more lilkely the hive didn't have the population and or nectar source.
If you wait for exlcuder to put on untill the combs are drawn then most likely you will have brood , the queen can lay
eggs in only a few drawn cells.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 12:20PM
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I had the excluder on one hive, and the bees hadn't drawn cells after three weeks. I thought the excluder was the cause. So I took off that excluder and on my second hive (package installed 3 weeks after the first) I did not put an excluder on at all. No drawn cells either after tw0 weeks. Drenched both supers in syrup, bees all over the frames. No drawn cells.
We have had weeks on weeks of rain, pouring rain, torrential rain and drizzle. Now in good weather, the gardens are more green than flower-ful. I really think there hasn't been much nectar.
Figuring I couldn't make it much worse, I started top-feeding again just to see if it makes any difference. This is almost as bad as the hive dying over the winter and I feel discouraged, too. Anyway, op, my sympathies and what do other more experienced beekeepers think is going on?


    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 1:11AM
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