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Wire Queen Excluder not letting workers through


Unscientifically :wink: , I can see the argument that the queen excluder causes undo stress on the bees.

Bees prefer a bee space of .375". A queen excluder offers .163". It’s obvious looking at the video that bees have to squeeze through the excluder.

Does it hurt/damage them? I guess if I were to make all the doorways in my house 1 foot wide, or small enough that I had to squeeze through, I would wind up sore and have some abrasions. I know one thing, I’d be reluctant to pass from one room to the next. However, I’m not a bee. A bee will injure itself or die for the benefit of the hive.

Luckily, it’s usually the young bees having to squeeze through an excluder: Once they get old and creaky like me, they’re foragers :slight_smile:


I noticed, when putting on a plastic QX, the bees come up through straight away. Using a metal QX, they stay down in the broodbox while I’m there.
I think metal requires more heating in the cold and can get pretty damn hot in summer.
So, I’m wondering if the flow people @KieranPI have a reason to supply plastic QX rather than metal ones.
Seeing no corners are cut to cheapen the product, if the flow people considered metal a better option, I’m sure they would have supplied metal wired ones for a couple of $$ more.
I feel my bees like the plastic ones better and I don’t mind replacing them once in a while.
Would be great to hear what the flow people think according to their experience.
From a Beekeepers commercial perspective, wire may be better, ease of handling and all.
But I’m sure my bees like the plastic better.


I see your point about metal wire QX getting hot, but mine are actually framed with wood around the outside, so I don’t think it is a problem when the hive is closed up. In the UK, we used to have thin sheet aluminium queen excluders. Although the edges can’t have been gentle on the bees, they worked pretty well. We never had a queen in our supers when we used them.

I think it is all a matter of personal preference in the end. The guys who don’t use excluders at all have a good point too, but on my Flow hives, I will always use one.


Actually, the hive I thought hated the metal excluder, has now adopted it fully. Phew.
I can’t get metal excluders here with a wooden frame around, and all carpenters I asked are scratching their head, as the metal excluders all have a box fitting metal rim around already.
So I bit the bullet and tried, and the bees don’t mind, just as all experienced beeks say.
The gaps I get between boxes and metal excluder are probably quickly filled in by the bees.
As a newbie, I guess I wanted to provide them gapless, which the plastic QX provided.
As often, the experienced beeks were correct in dispersing my fears about the gaps. Yet, the plastic QXs provide less gaps prior to bees’ sealing, which could be of great advantage to weaker colonies, less SHB getting in etc.
Weak colonies of course have no place in a functioning apiary, but there are soooo many things that can upset a colonie’s balance.


Do you actually know the wire space needed to exclude the queen and let bees through, except drones? And the wire space needed to exclude all bees, like in the screened bottom? Like the biggest screen possible to not let bees through.
Can’t get either stocked at the local hardware store, but once I have measures, could order.
Would be grateful to get some measurements for that to work with in future.


I do not but I’m sure some research at the University of Google Search can yield some insight lol


Back to square one for me then. But good question, hey? My hardware store didn’t know.
They suggested fly screen.