Removing Queen excluder -my unscientific survey

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Buzzo

House Bee
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
105
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Location
Sussex England
Hive Type
National
Hi
Tried going excluder-less this year and of 22 supers only 2 had brood in them ( and only about 2 inches worth at the bottom of the super).

Whats other peoples experience ?

Thanks

B.
 
Might need a little more detail even for an un-scientific survey. Is that 22 colonies with a super on each?
I’m Guessing you use 14*12, standard nationals I’d expect full supers of brood.
 
Hi
Tried going excluder-less this year and of 22 supers only 2 had brood in them ( and only about 2 inches worth at the bottom of the super).

Whats other peoples experience ?

Thanks

B.
Did you also find the bees less inclined to swarm?
 
I've never used queen excluders...not a problem...occasionally a bit of brood in the first super early in the season even on 14 x.12. Only a problem if there's not a strong spring flow and you want to take a spring crop of honey. I tend not to take a crop in spring as I've been caught out when the weather dips and they need the stores they have put away. I don't like feeding them in spring unless they are starving and by leaving then with spring stores this does not happen in any normal year.
 
for spring crop, of primarily OSR, I find it is preferable to use a QX so that the honey can be taken off before it sets and becomes a PITA for bees and beekeeper. Not so bothered with summer use as by the time I harvest in early / mid August the nest space is usually starting to contract back into the brood box(es), and if not I can always put an QX on until the the brood has emerged
 
I've never used queen excluders...not a problem...occasionally a bit of brood in the first super early in the season even on 14 x.12. Only a problem if there's not a strong spring flow and you want to take a spring crop of honey. I tend not to take a crop in spring as I've been caught out when the weather dips and they need the stores they have put away. I don't like feeding them in spring unless they are starving and by leaving then with spring stores this does not happen in any normal year.
Presumably you don't have oilseed rape? The spring crop here is nearly always larger than the summer yield and the customers like it. Must be taken off before it crystallises.

I got it into my head that the local farmers surely could not direct-drill (into recently harvested cereals without ploughing) the OSR seed this August because of the severe drought in these parts. Yesterday I notice two local fields with germinating OSR. Hurrah!
 
Presumably you don't have oilseed rape? The spring crop here is nearly always larger than the summer yield and the customers like it. Must be taken off before it crystallises.

I got it into my head that the local farmers surely could not direct-drill (into recently harvested cereals without ploughing) the OSR seed this August because of the severe drought in these parts. Yesterday I notice two local fields with germinating OSR. Hurrah!

Here in shropshire there is very little ploughing done these days, the soil is very sandy and has not recovered from previous drouts, this year just compounded the issue.
I had one large estate irrigate a few OSR fields for us as the bees were sat in the hives with nothing to work due to a dearth of nectar.

There's some pretty neat no till/ min till equipment out there now which is mostly driven by the need for efficiency. The Farmers Guide is a great magazine to get if you can as its really up to date with current trends (its free as well).
 
.
I had one large estate irrigate a few OSR fields for us as the bees were sat in the hives with nothing to work due to a dearth of nectar.
Bloody hell - you must have some very enthusiastic greens in the management team or the estate has more money to spare than they know what to do with.
 
The fields behind my orchard have all been sown over the last ten days. I was half-hoping it might be OSR, but looking at the shoots that have appeared it looks more like winter wheat or similar. They are part of an organic farm and I don't think they've been ploughed for five years or more. I've not discussed it with the farmer, but I know another locally who moved to minimal till some years back and says that the quality of the soil has improved significantly.

James
 
Presumably you don't have oilseed rape? The spring crop here is nearly always larger than the summer yield and the customers like it. Must be taken off before it crystallises.

I got it into my head that the local farmers surely could not direct-drill (into recently harvested cereals without ploughing) the OSR seed this August because of the severe drought in these parts. Yesterday I notice two local fields with germinating OSR. Hurrah!
No ... never get OSR near enough to become a flow. There have been occasional fields about a mile or two away but I reckon my bees are too bloody lazy to fly that far in any numbers. As I said, if you have a spring crop like that and you want to take it off then a QE will be required. I know there are areas of the UK where the only real crop is OSR.
 

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