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Queen bee above the excluder


Hi All. I am not sure how this has happened but it appears that my queen is above the excluder. She is not marked so I have not seen her but I have larvae in my flow frames and nothing below the excluder. Any suggestions on what I should do here?

Forgot the Excluder
Foreign particles in Flow Frames

Where abouts are you located? Season and location will influence the advice given.



I am located in Sydney Australia.


I’d remove the queen excluder, wait a few days and check she’s laying in the brood box again and then put the queen excluder back.


I agree with @Dunc, just remove the excluder and wait a week or two. She will probably prefer laying in the lower box once the bees have drawn out some comb for her. Do it quickly though, every day she lays in the Flow frames is hurting your colony size - she can only lay drones up there, and they don’t do any foraging!

Leave the excluder out until all of the larvae have hatched from the Flow frames, as drones will get caught above the excluder and will die trying to get through it. You should probably take the Flow frames off at that point and then dismantle them to get all of the cocoons out. If you don’t do that, it may make your harvest difficult and messy, as the cocoons will interfere with the way the frames are meant to operate.


Not going to be pretty getting those cocoons out. Personally I would just shake all the bees into the bottom box and remove/clenan the flow frames before too much damage is done.



Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the advice. I will do that tomorrow.


Yes same here. Shake them out frame by frame into the lower box.

Did I understand you have undrawn frames in the brood box? If you do there shouldn’t be a super on top.



Just being the devils advocate here. I’ve seen the queen get above the QE in several hives this summer… Somehow she got thru or around it too. We did remove the excluder… And she went downstairs soon. And we were okay but these were in a friend non-Flow-hive apiaries. But yes… If there is room for comb still to be drawn below I believe the Flow-Super was added premature ( too early )… Lam mm that Queen must be located n moved below before the honey super is removed n cleaned ! .

Now this thot crossed my mind first. Does Burvy have a Queen above the QE or does she have a missing queen with a laying WORKER up there … I believe Burvy needs a very experienced mentor to give her some help if possible … But as mentioned … Time is important here too… Any thots on my thots ?!?

Just my 2 cents worth,


Bury could have laying workers…workerS, Gerald…there are always hundreds not just the one or two. We don’t have the information to arrive at that diagnosis.
It depends how long the hive has been without a queen. It usually takes six weeks or so after the queen has disappeared before laying workers appear (laying workers are normal in a queen right hive…the eggs are just removed)


Yes…I agree somebody needs to find the queen


First I would purchase a metal queen excluder. When it arrives check it for defects and if all is well, throw away the plastic one.
Next, remove each frame until you find her and gently shake her into the brood box or gently pick her up between your fingers and place her below:
If allowed, freeze the flow frames for a few days and return them to the hive for the bees to clean out.



I kind of agree about the Plastic QE… Not sure how good her eyes are but for me finding the Queen sucks big time… I’ve had eye surgery so my close up clear focal length often is fuzzy. Bees look alike … So I try to look for pattern or movement hints to
find her magesty… It’s much more sure seeing the white larva but that doesn’t find the Queen just tells me she’s been there n done that ! :wink:. It sometimes sucks getting older !

. Here’s a pix somewhere on that pix of a very small late season Queen. My mentor told me she’s small enough to go thru a QE.

Just thot I’d toss that in,



Why is metal better?


It’s not, it’s a matter of personal opinion. There are arguments for and against both plastic and metal excluders.


isn’t the correct answer ‘my personal opinion is it’s not’? :wink:


In my personal opinion, I’ve had more queens above plastic excluders and none above metal. Plastic gets brittle, cracks, and is easily distorted. It only takes one mouse to slip into the hive and bye bye plastic excluder and hello brood in super…but these are only my personal observation from my small 50 hive apiary. Maybe some of the 1,000 hive guys will offer some advice.


I’ve never had a queen move above a plastic excluder, not sure what brand you’re using. Also never had one crack, nor have I had it bend out of shape. On the contrary, I have had bar spacing uniformity issues with metal, they do bend regularly, and many designs harbour small hive beetle in the crimped ends that wrap the wire bar.


That’s good that the plastic is working for you. Keep up the good work :wink:


For those that want to switch to metal, I use the wood bound metal excluder not the flat ones. I like the added spacing above and below the excluder.