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Advantages And Disadvantages of Queen Excluders
It is quite hard to identify queen excluders as good or bad. The ultimate question is, is it good or bad for the bees? Does it result in the production of less or more honey? How often should they be used and how to use them? But since there are no direct answers available with supporting evidence, the question of it being good or bad solely depends on what you are looking for!
Mentioned below are the pros and cons of using queen excluders:
· It makes the job of beekeeping much easier for the beekeeper. For most of us, who are looking to practice bee-centric beekeeping, it is surely not the best reason to use it. But you cannot deny the fact that queen free super makes the job of beekeeping much easier. It will help you remove your mind off of the broods protecting the queen bee. You can simply, without any fear, go on harvesting honey. Whenever you feel like checking the brood nest, you can do so simply by going through the honey containers without going with the queen bee’s honey super process first. So it saves beekeepers a lot of time as well. You don’t have to dig deep in every box to look out for your queen bee and her expansion.
· Finding the queen bee becomes comparatively easier. When the queen bee is limited to the lower brood boxes, it doesn’t take a lot of time to find the queen bee. But there is no need to keep the excluder for the whole year to see its perks. If you have to re-queen the hive, you just have to place the excluder a week before in the hive and that allows you to search the lower half of the hive where the fresh brood is located.
· It also does a very important job, which is to keep the population of the colony in check. This also helps in controlling the defensiveness level of the hive. The more the number of the brooder and worker bees a colony has, the more defensive it becomes. Especially if your honey bees have African genes. Honey bees with African genes prefer brooding over honey, which becomes a huge problem in the future. Excluders keep the bees separated evenly and help in regulating the population of the hive.
· One of the many and the most obvious cons of a queen excluder is that it is not a natural method for going about the business. Bees living in the wild do not have queen excluders so it can feel like an unnecessary addition to the beekeeping process. However, the wild hives are much smaller in numbers so this point is not completely valid under the cons section.
You will have to be aware of your brooding nest becoming honey bound. If your nest becomes crowded with honey because of queen excluder, you may find yourself in a tough situation.