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Queen Excluder Not working

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BillyGoat 

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I have a National which I wintered on Brood and Half but want to get on to single brood as easier for inspections etc. Two weeks ago I moved the super from below to ontop of brood box and put a plastic Q/E between them. I didn't bother to find the Queen due to cold weather but figured she was probably in the brood box and it would be easy to figure when weather was better by seeing where the eggs and lavae were being laid.
Weather today was lovely, opened hive and found eggs and lavae in both the super and the brood!
Are the plastic Q/E useless, do I have an extra skinny Queen or have I missed something obvious?
 

oliver90owner 

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BillyGoat

Doubtful that Poly Hive is right but it is one possibility (one can never tell)! More likely she is a skinny queen or the Q/E is a waste of space.

History of colony? Where did the queen originate from? Could she be a scrub queen from an emergency cell after a colony was split? Could be other reasons er - like you put the Q/E on the wrong way round or upside down?

OK, forget those last two suggestions; I will get in trouble for being flippant!

To find out? Separate them and wait 24 hours IF you are not confident of searching through. Two queens, no queen cells; one queen - queen cells started in the queenless box.

If queen cells are produced, wait a week, destroy queen cells (all of them!) and re-unite (paper method). If the queen is in the super she will need some more space sooner rather than later. If you were lucky enough to have two queens, still together after a late supercedure in the autumn, you now have the two colonies you really require to make your beekeeping easier!

To check the queen excluder - simply change it for a known good one.

Alternative suggestions are because you did not want to search for the queen. That may have been because the weather was not good enough, or other reasons. Please ignore the above as you see fit!

Regards, RAB
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Queens can get through excluders on occasions. It would do you no harm to have a spare one in any case; you can try that as see how it goes.
 

Midland Beek 

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Reasoning tells you that you either have two queens or an undersize one which is able to get through a queen excluder.

Have fun with your single deep box ... too small for most strains of bee in the UK.
 

BillyGoat 

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Update:
The colony came from a medium sized secondary swarm last june and so the queen is probably a scrub queen. I haven't seen her for a few months as she's not marked and difficult to spot but she has been a good layer.

I've taken the advice of splitting the hive and now have a super with multiple queen cells - so it seems I did only have one skinny queen after all.
I'm tempted to let them hatch and see if the new queen is up to the job. If I do this should I scrub all but one of the QC or leave them to the hive to sort out. Am I in danger of a swarm if I do this?

I do have a new queen on order but don't expect it to be ready for a few weeks yet.

Taken Midland Beeks advice and have left both hive on Brood+Super at mom.
Will look into double brood or 14x12 for the future.

thanks Billy
 

Poly Hive 

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Ok so you now have a situation where there are queencells. You know where your queen is so that is a start.

However there is a wee problem here that is not being addressed and that is the not so minor issue of drones for this virgin to mate with.

At the moment she doesen't have access to fly.

At the moment are there drones for her to mate with?

To be honest you would I think have been better advised to leave well alone until there were mature drones around and then induced the cells.

It is still VERY early in the season. Patience please.

PH
 

gandalfwhitewizard 

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Drones are around in our hives so i think that blows PH's myth out of the water. Do what the bees want sometime not we want perhaps?
Still i might be wrong if so i shall hang my head in shame and stand in the corner as we can't be right all the time can we?
 

oliver90owner 

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I think precipitating queen cell building by splitting the hive was not exactly what the bees wanted. They are emergency cells and may lead to (another) scrub queen (if the former is of similar ilk).

I would (if I were unable to search for the queen) have destroyed all the queen cells after a week and re-united (as I said in my previous post). Restored the status quo and left them to get on with expanding for the first main flow. Mating queens at the end ofMay and into June should be much more reliable. That is what the bees would likely be wanting.

Regards, RAB
 
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