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Using Queen Excluders in Beehives

| 9/8/2014 10:14:00 AM

 Excluder on Box

At its simplest, a queen excluder is a mesh divider between the brood box and the honey super in a hive. The mesh is sized so the worker bees can pass through easily but the larger queen can not squeeze through.

Queen excluders may be made of plastic or metal, occasionally with a wooden frame. The material is a matter of personal preference. The plastic excluders are a bit less expensive; the metal ones will be more durable over the long run.

Why Use a Queen Excluder?

It may seem counter productive to keep the queen from some parts of the hive. She is the queen after all. In this picture you can observe a good reason to keep the queen from the honey super. Note the darker cells in an arch pattern near the bottom center of the frame. This is brood. The queen placed eggs in these cells. Since the cells are capped, we know that the developing bee is somewhere between 8 and 21 days old. Workers have stored honey in the rest of the frame which appears as a lighter color. This is a normal pattern and fine in the brood box. But when it comes to harvesting the honey, let's just say no one wants a pupae on their biscuit.

 Brood in Super

How To Use a Queen Excluder

Before adding a honey super, place a queen excluder on top of the brood box, then set the honey super on top of the excluder. This will act as a preventative before the queen starts laying eggs in the super.Excluder on HivePlacing Excluder

9/8/2014 3:53:53 PM

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