Top Three Uses for Queen Excluders
There are multiple uses for queen excluders. From keeping queens out of honey supers to more advanced re-queening techniques, queen excluders offer beekeepers an array of interesting options to integrate into their tricks of the trade.
To keep queens from laying eggs in a newly placed honey super, a queen excluder can be placed between the deep brood box and the newly placed western honey super. The excluder’s grate openings are large enough for the worker bees to slip through, but too small for the queen to pass through. Remember to only use the excluder when you add a honey super and the forager bees are bringing in nectar and making honey. We recommend having at least seven bee-covered frames in your deep box before adding a honey super on top. If you are not actively collecting honey, don’t use an excluder.
Requeening a split hive
Before splitting a hive, take out three or four frames of brood and put them in a new deep box and place on top of original box. Make sure all the bees are brushed off the frames before you add them. Worker bees will instinctively care for their young. Put an excluder between the boxes-- You will notice nurse bees crawling through the excluder into the new box to keep the eggs and larvae warm. Wait a day, then move the queen-free frames and brood into a nuc—you can then begin introducing a new queen bee to the new nuc colony or entice them to raise their own.
Locating the Queen
There are many ways to locate a queen. The most popular method is marking the queen with paint. For those needing to locate your queen, an excluder can be used to help find her, but be warned this is a technique that should only be employed when all else is failing you.
- Make a strainer box--Attach a queen excluder to the bottom of a deep box.
- Shake all your bees out of their box and into the strainer box- when you are done, make sure all bees are out and all frames are left in.
- Place the strainer box on top of the box with frames
- Use a little smoke to make bees go down through excluder to the brood box
- Soon you will only have drones and the queen left in the strainer box.
- It should be fairly easy to find the queen