The Queen Excluder Controversy

Throughout the ages, beekeepers have argued over the use of queen excluders. Some say that it is unnecessary, while others say that it is essential for harvesting clean honey. For those of you who don't know, queen excluders are used to keep the queen (and her larva) out of one section of the hive which is just used for honey. It is basically just a large cover with holes big enough for workers to get through, but too small for a queen or drone to go through.In a langstroth hive, all of the supers above the excluder are reserved for honey, while the supers below the excluder are for brood. Without an excluder, the possibility of eggs in unfiltered honey is extremely likely. Some beekeepers fear less honey production because the bees may not want to climb through small holes each trip into the hive. Without an excluder, the beekeeper must rotate the hive bodies often to keep the queen in the bottom. She always moves from the bottom to the top, one box at a time. But, this requires more work on the beekeepers part than just putting on an excluder.

Personally, I prefer the excluder. I find it more convenient and practical for my hive. Sometimes, you must train the bees to go through the excluder. This can be done by putting sugar or pollen patties in the top just for a few days to make the bees go up through it. Or, you can actually use an old honey frame in the new super to lure them up. They will smell the honey, and come running right up to the top.

Even though honey is usually filtered many times, I still don't like the idea of eggs being in the same honeycomb as my honey was in, especially if it is chewing comb!

What do you think? Share your opinion below!

Image By Valleybeekeeping


Arlington, Virginia

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