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Thread: vertical Queen excluder in brood box.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Default vertical Queen excluder in brood box.

    I might have this in the wrong section, but I saw a video on utube (As you do ) But the chap had a Q/E in the brood box to secure the queen and select larvae for queen breeding I think he called it queen castleing.
    Anyway the question would it be a good idea to confine the queen to say three frames in a regular brood box be inserting a vertical Q/E between her and the rest of the bees, that way you would always know where she is and there would be no danger in rolling her or squishing her. I know there would be a bit of manipulation required every time you open the hive swapping frames in and out. What would the disadvantages to this be if you were not using it to raise queens.

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    For general management, GG - no, I don't think that's a good idea. I think she really needs to be free to roam as she pleases. Just don't roll her! Easy to avoid rolling her if you use a dummy frame, I think.
    Kitta
    Last edited by Mellifera Crofter; 28-03-2017 at 04:09 PM.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    thanks for the reply.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greengage View Post
    I might have this in the wrong section, but I saw a video on utube (As you do ) But the chap had a Q/E in the brood box to secure the queen and select larvae for queen breeding I think he called it queen castleing.
    Anyway the question would it be a good idea to confine the queen to say three frames in a regular brood box be inserting a vertical Q/E between her and the rest of the bees, that way you would always know where she is and there would be no danger in rolling her or squishing her. I know there would be a bit of manipulation required every time you open the hive swapping frames in and out. What would the disadvantages to this be if you were not using it to raise queens.
    A couple of thoughts. I've used a similar set up for queen rearing but not yet perfected it, in 13 frame boxes, which honestly is where the idea belongs/originated rather than a standard 10 or 11 frame box; although 'yes' I am aware that Michael Palmer uses it in a standard Langstroth box.....

    In general management you're going to find that the colony is being held back when it should be expanding -good for breeder queens; bad for honey production and, probably, general colony moral.

    There's also going to be an increase in manipulations to keep the unit running smoothly -if not, then I conjecture that you'll find supercedure attempts a common issue.

    You still need to check the frames outside the excluder for rogue cells.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that if you add a vertical excluder to a standard brood box you won't reduce the chance of rolling the queen!

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Thanks, Now I know something I didn't before hand. When I get bored waiting for something to do I look up these things but think ill keep it Simple (Kiss) for my queen rearing attempts, Iam ready to go all figured out (yea right) just hope the bees have been reading the same books as me. With todays prices in euros of €250 for a nuc and €40 for an AMM queen I reckon I would have to produce 160 nucs or 1000 queens before I would have to register for Tax. Jee I forgot to figure in the honey turnover, sure I am in clover already except my bees probably will not have access to it. Was it not Darwin who said it was thanks to Old maids and their cats that your empire thrived, Now that cat is out of the bag It will be interesting to see what happens.
    It is well known that old maids keep cats.
    Red clover requires humble bees as pollinators,
    and it is well known that clover hay is fed to
    the horses of the British cavalry. From all of this,
    "it logically follows" that the continuation of the
    British Empire is dependent upon England's always
    having a bountiful supply of old maids. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...00143-0066.pdf
    That story or something along those lines appeared in this months NIHBS magazine thought it funny.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greengage View Post
    Thanks, Now I know something I didn't before hand. When I get bored waiting for something to do I look up these things but think ill keep it Simple (Kiss) for my queen rearing
    Your initial post seemed to be talking of 'normal' management rather than queen rearing..... but, if we're talking queen rearing things are slightly different in the sense that the extra work may be profitable if you can get the glitches ironed out. Remember of course (assuming that you're using a hive with a square footprint) that for queen rearing you'll need to run the frames 'warm way' and use a solid division board for tempoarily seperating the queen out, an extra entrance at the back is also required.

    On the other hand, if you're just holding the breeder queen in the confined space then you can maintain a 'cold way' set up which will undoubtedly reduce the overall work -unless of course the queen is herded out of the front, around the excluder and back into the otherside! Would that ever happen? I'm not sure but I've seen them do too many unexpected things to say that it definitely wouldn't occur. But I think that the odds would be very low, and you very lucky, to see it happen.

    Get a nice tidy nuc box to hold your breeder queen and independent gear for cell starting/finishing etc is my humble advice having previously given this whole idea far too much thought. If you do ecxperiment with the idea 1). I'd love to hear of your experiences and 2). be sure to use a commercial rather than a national; I'm fairly sure that the slightly larger comb area will be a distinct advantage for holding the queen.

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    One of the models of starter hive Jolanta uses, learned at a top breeder in Europe, uses a vertical excluder. Its a queenright system that they use all season, no need for constant refreshing or boxes of queenless bees. It happens to be on Langstroth but would work equally well on other hive formats. Its very simple and effective. Both the systems she uses require the adaptation of the floors to control the flow of the field bees through the hive, and a mechanism to free drones.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Parkel thanks for that yes you are correct I was suggesting on using it for "Normal" management in my original post thinking it would be easy to locate the queen and keep her safe from me, but I didn't seem like a good idea, then yes the video I saw was using it for queen rearing. I am using national brood boxes and would be reluctant to introduce commercial ones, I've looked at loads of Ideas and heard loads of suggestions each one sounding better than the last, then I think Ill try that, Anyway enough skitting around and this is the plan. I will use the Nicot cupkit system. I have the frame prepared for inserting into the brood box later in the season end of April early May or when Drones are about whichever comes first. I will leave this in for a day to allow bees polish it up if that's the correct term, Then locate the queen confine her for a day to lay it up, then transfer the eggs to the queen-less breeder colony for raising. This sounds simple like I know what I am doing but its the plan ill let you know how it goes if interested even if your not interested ill post anyway. The second post from Calluna4U I do not understand the method but would have to see it for it to sink in.

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    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I vaguely recollect that 8 or 9 years ago Mike Roberts of Easybee (Gloucestershire?) used a long brood box with an excluder part-way down for queen rearing. What happened to him? He was all over the forums at one point causing argument then disappeared.

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