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Queen excluder.

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Wired in my opinion.
The slotted steel ones bend if you dont take care using the hive tool.

I have never used the plastic ones.
 

Marvin 

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I'm struggling with one of the cheap orange plastic ones. As I lift a corner it bends in the middle. I lift a second corner, then a third and all of a sudden it all comes off like it is spring loaded, which I suppose it is.

My bees really don't like being 'launched' like that.:(

I'll never, by choice, use another.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Framed wire excluder or framed short slotted are apparently the best. Unframed hort slotted excluders can prevent air circulation if put directly on top of frames and impeded air flow is thought to help trigger the swarming impulse (Clive de Bryn). Short slot excluders are better for preventing artifical swarms absconding (in my experience). Sort slotted exculders can get stuck to the bottom of supers and come off with the super when removed. They can also bend. I've got some plastic excluders but not used them yet.

On a historical note: does anyone out there remember the long slot excluder or even the waldron? I've had both and the waldron was great for getting stuck!
 

gavin 

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Hi Marvin

There are similar issues with other designs too. When you start to feel resistance to lifting, just slide it to and fro sideways a little to release it from the grip of the wax below.

cheers

Gavin
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Gavin,

How does the plastic excluder cope when you have to do quick inspections when the temperature is below 16 degrees?

Cheers,

Steve.
 

gavin 

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Hi Steve

No idea! I prefer the wire ones and have only had a plastic one on for a short period.
 

JCBrum 

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I've got six hives running at the moment (more by luck than judgement), and all started this year.

I've started ten altogether by various means but lost four of them.

Anyway, my point is that I've tried to be very economical, and have re-used and re-furbished a lot of discarded equipment.

Amongst it were five flat galvanized steel slotted queen excluders, two of which had broken wooden frames, and three with no frame at all. All of them were to some extent bent and distorted.

I stripped and cleaned them, and hammered them straight again, being very careful to correct and preserve the slot size and geometry, Then repaired or added new wooded frames to provide a bee space above my 14x12 frames.

By and large they seem to be successful. I am having difficulty getting the bees to go up into the supers but I don't think this is due to the QEs

I did purchase a new plastic one (orange colour) which was frameless, and on offer at £3.

The plastic one does stick to the top bars as Marvin says, which is a nuisance, but I suspect could be cured with a good frame.

My conclusions are that plastic will be difficult to keep clean and free of brace comb, and could be easily damaged beyond repair by vigorous application of the hive tool. You can't blowlamp them either to burn off propolized deposits. Whereas the flat steel ones are relatively heat proof.

On the whole if you need economy the slotted steel ones are ok if you add a good frame and cross bars to provide bee space and support.

I do think the wire ones with a frame are probably the best but they are costly and are easily bent as well.

Maybe this helps someone a bit. :)

JC.
 
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Heather 

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I have all 3 and feel the framed is kinder to the bees, as there is a space for them to scuttle under when replacing.- but there was a question of the wired stopping the bees going up to stores (if left in place) when weather is cold. The wire was too cold for the bees to accept. This forum last winter...

Orange plastic is a good budget price and you just need to ease all round to prevent 'launch':) Then I put a towel over the bees to make them return to frames before I replace the excluder..
 

Onge 

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Framed heavy duty wire, wins every time. In my opinion :)
 

Roy S 

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I use wire framed and the orange plastic ones, the thing with the plastic ones is to just place your hand in the middle of the excluder as you lift one corner to stop it springing up...simple!!!. I've also found them a hell of a lot more robust than the flat steel excluders when it comes to rough handling and careless use of a hive tool.

The easiest way to remove wax and propolis???....dead easy... roll them up stick it in the freezer then when you take it out, flex the excluder and the wax and propolis fall off :cheers2:
 

JCBrum 

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I can't see how a QE can work satisfactorily without a frame to provide bee space.

I know that many use them without, but it does seem to me to cause problems which are better avoided.

JC.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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.... Which is why I use short slotted steel excluders above the floorbord to prevent newly made up artificial swarms absconding.....
 

match 

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My conclusions are that plastic will be difficult to keep clean and free of brace comb, and could be easily damaged beyond repair by vigorous application of the hive tool. You can't blowlamp them either to burn off propolized deposits. Whereas the flat steel ones are relatively heat proof.
The plastic ones do have their disadvantages in being 'springy' as has already been mentioned. However, they are easy to clean - just give them a good scrub in hot water with lots of soap, and any wax and propolis will melt straight off.

I'd say that wire ones are best, followed by plastic ones, and finally the sheet metal ones.

Wire ones are solidly framed, easy to clean, and the bees don't mind them.

Plastic ones are easy to clean, the bees don't mind them (the plastic is 'warm' and smooth for the bees to squeeze through).

The sheet metal ones are often disliked by the bees (the metal is 'cold' and 'sharp') and can warp and lift up the super over time.
 

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.... Which is why I use short slotted steel excluders above the floorbord to prevent newly made up artificial swarms absconding.....
Thats a little trick my Mentor taught me :cheers2:
 

Flat21st 

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I use a slotted steel QE in a National hive directly on top of the frames. These are Hoffman frames with wide top bars. I have had problems getting the bees to go up into the super. I thought that this might be due to the wide top bars obstructing a lot of the slots. I removed the QE, and the bees went up, but but the queen started laying in the supers within a couple of days. I replaced the QE, adding a home made rim of 7mm (1/4") thick hardwood with supporting cross bar which I have placed below the QE, thereby adding a bee space between the top bars of the brood frames and the QE, allowing the bees to use more of the slots in the QE, and hopefully encouraging more of them up into the supers.
 

fincaazul 

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Hi Marvin

There are similar issues with other designs too. When you start to feel resistance to lifting, just slide it to and fro sideways a little to release it from the grip of the wax below.

cheers

Gavin
We all seem to be forgetting the importance of BEE SPACE. Any framed excluder will increase distance above and below frames encouraging use of propolis and brace comb, no wonder removing excluder is a problem. Have used may types of Q excluder and come back to the slotted zinc type. It can be 'peeled ' off yet regains it's shape when replaced. Tried plastic but always covered in brace comb ( again it increases 'bee space ') Haven't used wire ones since seeing problems and upset to Bees while removing it. Same with crown boards. Framed on both sides, Too much space, brace comb! Feel that manufacturers are taking profit rather than good of bees into account, and 'shooting us a line'.
 

Peterwh 

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30 years ago I saw a sign. It said- we have three kinds of jobs here; cheap, quick and good. You can have any two but not three at the same time.

Not much changes
 

nelletap 

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This is almost a dead link but still, probably better than asking a question that will get repetition.
With the fiasco about Thornes plastic QX and the fact that what looked like a really good wooden framed version has let me down, I am looking for some recommendations or advice.
I am reluctant to rely on the plastic ones I bought this year from Thornes. They are white but someone had problems with that colour as well as the other originally said to cause problems (wre they orange).
My woodworking is not wonderful - I can put together frames and boxes. the wood framed queen excluder I bought looked good - and wasn't cheap! However, the surround was made of layers of thin ply as far as I can see and after being propolised on to the hive, the layers especially on one side have disintegrated and that side has fallen off. I cannot see that a repair will actually give a strong enough frame to prevent it happening again given that if the repaired side ends up thicker it could create a gap. Either I need some advice on a replacement frame (I wondered about some quadrant type wooden beading to create something like a mitred picture frame but not sure how I'd make the corners strong enough). Or a recommendation of a good replacement. Seems extravagant but I've already spent a lot of time on this and it is a long time till Stoneleigh. Online, you cannot really always see how teh frames are made.
Tricia
 

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