Are the holes in my queen excluder too small?

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We just did an inspection and found the super quite empty. The brood box is nearly full, they are filling the last frame.
There were a bunch of worker bees in the super but on the excluder, and we were surprised that the super wasn’t being used. When we observed the bees it appeared they were struggling to get through the excluder. There were also bees trying to come up but not able to squeeze through.
Is it possible that the excluder gaps are too small? Or the bees too big?

These were not drones. I suspect after a bit of effort they would have made it through. Maybe that’s how they got there.

The gap is 4.2mm according to my vernier.

I have removed the excluder for the time being.

TIA
image.jpg 8053D305-89B4-45EB-8099-964FB19C36CD.jpeg
 

WoodenBeam

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Was it an un-drawn super? Sometimes the bees can be a bit hesitant going into as there may be no need for them to use it, means a lot of work drawing wax so why bother if no need.
If it is un-drawn spray some suger solution onto the frames which may kick start activity or just be patient. They’ll move into it as & when they need to.
 
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Was it an un-drawn super? Sometimes the bees can be a bit hesitant going into as there may be no need for them to use it, means a lot of work drawing wax so why bother if no need.
If it is un-drawn spray some suger solution onto the frames which may kick start activity or just be patient. They’ll move into it as & when they need to.
It’s undrawn foundation. I’ll leave the QX off for a few days and see what they do. If I get a chance I’ll also spray some sugar water on the foundation.
 

Murox

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The slot/hole size you have is normal - 4.2--> 4.4mm.

edit - they need a reason to draw wax, either a flow, real or artificial or space for brood.
 

Erichalfbee

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I have bees that go this. I take the QX off and they draw the frames and move the stores up.
I tend to leave the excluder off as once full of honey the queen stays down
 

Brodie

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Iv got the same with mine. bottom box is about full last week qx and super been on 2 weeks they’ve done nothing
 

Antipodes

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We just did an inspection and found the super quite empty. The brood box is nearly full, they are filling the last frame.
There were a bunch of worker bees in the super but on the excluder, and we were surprised that the super wasn’t being used. When we observed the bees it appeared they were struggling to get through the excluder. There were also bees trying to come up but not able to squeeze through.
Is it possible that the excluder gaps are too small? Or the bees too big?

These were not drones. I suspect after a bit of effort they would have made it through. Maybe that’s how they got there.

The gap is 4.2mm according to my vernier.

I have removed the excluder for the time being.

TIA
View attachment 32571 View attachment 32572
It looks from the photo like at least the left measuring jaw of the caliper isn't seated on the narrowest point. I'd suggest perhaps measuring again and in a few different places.
 

Antipodes

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I measured several places. Twice 4.3, usually 4.2.
There is great reluctance here by beekeepers (on this island) to use excluders and I've never seen them on any commercial hives, but obviously they work being so ubiquitous elsewhere.
 

TomH

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I rarely use a QX either. In conjunction with adding space just above the brood nest it let's the bees do as they please in terms of nest size. Most of my mongrels seem to end up around brood and a half anyway, and once there's an arc of honey above, it acts as a natural QX, and she's reluctant to move above it.

Works for me and seems to make life easier on the whole. There are some drawbacks obviously, sometimes you have to do a bit comb rearranging when they make a tear drop shaped brood nest across a few boxes, but easily remedied. Give it a go!
 

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