NZBF: Queen excluder with top entrance

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vinflobie

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I bought one of these (Hive doctor Italian QE with gated plastic rim) at the beginning of the peak flow season last year (as recommended in the 'bestpracticebeekeeping' video via Ecrotek)....so the bees could get access to honey frames without going thru the brood box during peak flow. When I went into the hive yesterday to remove the top super which was full of honey, I noticed a few drones wandering around. It looks like I had the QE upside down. Should the bees still have to move thru the QE to get to honey frames when accessing the top gate? They way I had it they didn't, they just entered and into the honey frames. I replaced it the other way so is that correct? Drones won't be able to migrate up into honey super now if they use the top gate.
Many thanks.......:)
 

Grant

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would you be able to link to the part you are discussing for those not familiar,
 

frazzledfozzle

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you are using a top entrance for the bees to access the honey box without going through the excluder the opening should be facing up.
Drones Will have access to the HB same as the bees.
If you turn it over the bees will have to go through the excluder so no point in having a top entrance.
Having a few drones in the HB is not going to be a problem
 
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vinflobie

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Ok I will upload a couple of photos - one showing the product from Ecrotek website thay I am enquiring about, and the other showing my hive with the orange entrance in open position.
Ok so a few drones in honey super is no problem, so that's good to know.
Only advantage is that the top entrance means the bees don't need to walk from bottom of brood box to top, then squeeze thru
QE. They will just fly in top entrance and QE is right above them, so will save them time and energy.
I'll flip it back over this week when I put the wet frames back in.
Many thanks frazzledfozzle.
 

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I'll flip it back over this week when I put the wet frames back in.
i have a similar excluder on one of my hives. i'm not a fan of top entrances. i do not see them using them much at all, its an entrance that robbers can use and most importantly they are an entrance for a returning queen. not much point having queen excluders if you have holes in your supers.
if you flip yours over make sure you put the entrance on the back of the hive.

those excluders are actually meant for double queen hives, which is what i use mine for.
 

Josh

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As nectar foragers pass their harvest to the food storer bees and then disappear out the door for another collection I thought we had discredited the use of top entrances in this regard.
Does that occur in the brood box? Or in the honey supers?

if it happens in the brood box, then no top entrance needed. If it happens in the honey supers, then the argument for then shortcut would still be valid (but not necessarily correct of course)
 

Dave Black

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It occurs near the entrance the foragers are habituated to using, around the dance floor where the exchange of foraging information occurs. In Tom Seeley's work the search time for a willing storer is an important feedback for foragers about the carbohydrate (nectar) status of the colony.

Something I wonder about, when given to idle wonder, is how much dancing occurs on filling honycombs. As the resonance of comb seems to be important, and filling them with liquid will change the resonance.

Another thing I'd note is that another entrance doubles the guard bees posted, and so makes the colony more likely to be defensive more quickly.
 
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vinflobie

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As nectar foragers pass their harvest to the food storer bees and then disappear out the door for another collection I thought we had discredited the use of top entrances in this regard.

It occurs near the entrance the foragers are habituated to using, around the dance floor where the exchange of foraging information occurs. In Tom Seeley's work the search time for a willing storer is an important feedback for foragers about the carbohydrate (nectar) status of the colony.

Something I wonder about, when given to idle wonder, is how much dancing occurs on filling honycombs. As the resonance of comb seems to be important, and filling them with liquid will change the resonance.

Another thing I'd note is that another entrance doubles the guard bees posted, and so makes the colony more likely to be defensive more quickly.
I went out this morning 8am and thought I would close top entrance, slowly so bees don't get crushed, and in the process of doing this the bees instantly piled out so I stopped and opened it fully again. So I would agree with your comments on quick defence as it certainly was.

I joined the video series produced by Dr Mark Goodwin and Sarah Cross (bestpracticebeekeeping) from Massey late last year, where he recommends using the top gate during peak flow times. That's why I bought one, but obviously it's up to each person to decide what best suits their situation.
 
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Josh

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One thing I do like about the optional second entrance, is when you’re trying to find the queen.

if you can’t you use the QE to half the number of frames you’re looking at. But the second entrance means you don’t trap drones etc in the interim
 
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most importantly they are an entrance for a returning queen. not much point having queen excluders if you have holes in your supers.
I found at least one hive in my apiaries with a brood above the excluder as the second entrance was the wrong way up... presumably a returning queen entered the second box.

20210116_123902.jpg
Ps: I've just recently purchased these hives don't judge me too harshly on condition..
 

Sailabee

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I found at least one hive in my apiaries with a brood above the excluder as the second entrance was the wrong way up... presumably a returning queen entered the second box . View attachment 132

Ps: I've just recently purchased these hives don't judge me too harshly on condition..
Unusual to have a feeder in a honey super, and in it I think there is an empty queen cell, so I am guessing that the previous owner got things a bit mixed up somehow, or else it was intended to be a two queen hive?
 
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Unusual to have a feeder in a honey super, and in it I think there is an empty queen cell, so I am guessing that the previous owner got things a bit mixed up somehow, or else it was intended to be a two queen hive?
Yes indeed. Let's just say the previous owner was a little jaded on the housekeeping front. Lots of healthy bees but lots of tidying up to do.
 
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Unusual to have a feeder in a honey super,
not that uncommon. some people winter as single brood + one super and have the feeder in the top so they don't have have to pull boxes apart to feed. got a few lids here that have a feed port so you don't even need to take the lid off to feed.

personally i'm not a fan of frame feeders.
 
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Yes that is the current set up... single brood plus a super with feeder.
Personally I prefer to take the feeder out during flow and add more frames for honey collection. It does seem to impact the health of the colony in the brood box- less space equals less brood.
I'll be using top feeders next season.. imagine it would be much simpler option in pollination
 


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