Picking up my first package of bees tomorrow. Hive is all set up and ready to go. My question is, do I need the queen excluder on if the honey super isn’t on yet? Or does it not matter?
It shouldn’t matter until you put a super on, as far as I know. I have seen some setups in my reading where it was put in as a safety measure.
You won’t need the excluder as it will be a single box colony. You only need one when you want to keep the queen out of your honey supers.
You will want to check with your local clubs to find out if people are running a single brood box or double brood boxes as your colony grows. Here in North Texas, we run typically to brood boxes then our Queen excludeer goes on and on top of that is our flow frames and to everyone outside this forum it’s called a honey super. So all in all when you finally put your flow frames on you will see a total of three boxes.
A class I went to and a mentor/old-time beekeeper suggested leaving the Queen excludeer on year-round, even though there may be nothing above it. The bees will be use to passing through it and not believe it’s a lid of some sort I have some other postings in here about that.
My bees would take that as in invitation to apply liberal amounts of propolis, so i take mine off.
In Massachusetts, I’d be doing three 8 frame brood boxes and then the honey super.
So I also live in Massachusetts, my hive is set up in Acushnet. I just put the bees in on May 4th, and I was planning on only using 1 brood box and 1 super. You suggest 3 brood boxes, is there a certain reason why? Wondering if I should go out and buy another in preparation for when the first fills up. I’m assuming you have 3 due to our long and cold winters, but just wanted to clarify.
Honey storage for survivability: All of my big honey producing colonies have three boxes and up to 5 supers on top of that right now.
With one brood box, they’ll need to be able to survive on nothing from November until May: With three brood boxes, they’ll be able to store the 60-80 lbs of food they’ll need.
Wow, you must be 8 feet tall!
…and I have a sweet tooth and I’m greedy