Removing queen excluder

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Jaytee 

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I am over wintering on a BB and super. At the moment the queen excluder is still in place as the queen is still laying; when is the best time to remove it or is it best to go by the temperature? This is my first winter, the colony have about 40lbs of stores and are strong and healthy. Thanks for all comments rec'd.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Best to remove it now as it is only going to get colder and cause more disturbance to the bees when you finally remove it later .

If its brood in the super that concerns you then what some people do is place the super under the bb this way when the queen starts to lay in the spring it will more often than not be in the bb and you will have time to remove the super without brood in it.

If you decide to switch them you will need to check that you don’t have any large bits of comb hanging from the bottom of the brood frames as this may squash bees and perhaps one very important bee when you place it over the super.
 

busybee53 

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Agree with Tom. I overwintered last year for the first time with the super under the BB. They were fine. Have just swapped boxes and removed the QXs. This way the cluster can move around inside the hive en masse to get to their stores without leaving HM.
 

MuswellMetro 

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give them as much time as you can without the QE, i would suggest next year when re organizing the hive for thymol/apiguard ,so i would have removed it about mid august but it depends on your area

I would also put some of apiguard between the super and brood box ( as sugggesting in the api quard FAQs pdf on their website)
 

Chris B 

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Definitely get the queen excluder out asap. The last thing you want is for the winter cluster to move through to the super in search of food, leaving the queen stranded to chill and die.
If you do find brood in the super frames next spring, you can just put the excluder back in, making sure the queen is below it, and all the brood will be gone in 3 weeks, or slightly longer if drone brood.
 

Vergilius 

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If you intend to winter on 1.5 brood, the best time to remove the QE is when you have removed the honey crop. Make sure you do now remove it as, if you don't, the queen would be isolated from the cluster when they go into the top box, leaving her to chill and die.

This is why I prefer to winter on single box. What are your plans for next spring; keep them as 1.5 brood, or do an awkward queen locate operation and replace the QE???

Ben P
 

Jaytee 

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As I didn't get the bees until 1st July as a package there was no honey crop this year but the super was on just in case! The colony built up rapidly in a new hive with all undrawn comb and went across the BB in 3 wks.I left super on as I was concerned about late swarming due to the hot weather and lack of room in BB. Next year with more knowledge and confidence I intend relocate queen to BB and overwinter on single box. Thanks for all advice given, QE coming out today.

J
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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If you intend to winter on 1.5 brood, the best time to remove the QE is when you have removed the honey crop. Make sure you do now remove it as, if you don't, the queen would be isolated from the cluster when they go into the top box, leaving her to chill and die.

This is why I prefer to winter on single box. What are your plans for next spring; keep them as 1.5 brood, or do an awkward queen locate operation and replace the QE???

Ben P
or as happened to someone in my area last year the cluster refused to leave the queen and they all died of starvation within sight of food
 

Arfermo 

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Definitely get the queen excluder out asap. The last thing you want is for the winter cluster to move through to the super in search of food, leaving the queen stranded to chill and die.
If you do find brood in the super frames next spring, you can just put the excluder back in, making sure the queen is below it, and all the brood will be gone in 3 weeks, or slightly longer if drone brood.
:iagree:
Any brood in a super that is required for honey will emerge and go to where the rest of the colony is and that will be the other side of the QE, leaving the empty cells in the super for more honey.
 

oliver90owner 

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or as happened to someone in my area last year the cluster refused to leave the queen and they all died of starvation within sight of food

When I started beekeeping, or soon after, I was told (I think) that it had been known that the cluster had been isolated in the brood box and not made the transition to the shallow frames above simply because of the gap between, never mind with a Q/E in the way!

Not sure of the credibility of the information, but believed it at the time, and was another small consideration for changing to 14 x 12s.

RAB
 

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