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Wooden Queen Excluder

Greetings Bee Friends,

I have a purchased a 2nd hand flow hive which has a wooden queen excluder and wire mesh for the top plate of the super. I was wondering if I should replace them with a plastic/metal queen excluder and solid wooden top plate?

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Hi Joshua, welcome to the forum! Your kit looks very new, if used then very gently. Do you know the folks you bought it from - if so, I’d ask them why they chose to use that material, and also why they’re selling it of course.

I don’t immediately see a reason to replace the QE you have, wooden ones are okay…never heard of using a screened inner cover but perhaps there’s a good reason that the seller can clue you in on.

The question of authenticity comes to mind too…could these be copies?

Do tell us more when you have a chance, and I’ll be interested to hear others’ thoughts about the screen.

Without any doubt Eva. The flow ones have different handles.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

It’s never been installed I’m told. I didn’t buy it from here but looks exactly like this.

Ok, now I see - the wooden ware came from a different supplier, but your honey frames are possibly still from Flow, which is a good thing! Copies of those are illegal and have been known to be faulty.

Anyway, I can’t see a reason why the box parts would be problematic for you. Anyone else?

When are your bees coming, Joshua? You’ll need to coat the outside of the wood beforehand, and put away the super for now until your colony is strong enough…lots of tips and guidance available when you’re ready :wink:

It’s a fake Flow hive. I hope it didn’t cost much. The mesh screen in my view is only good for closing bees up during a move. I would not use it for any other purpose. I would block the holes in the roof & use a bee mat or ditch it altogether & replace it with a migratory lid in conjunction with the bee mat.

Use the “wooden”, actually bamboo queen excluder, it could be better than a plastic one. @fffffred is using his with no problems so far, however I don’t know how long he’s been using it.

cheers

Welcome to the forum where you can find lots to read and some very helpful folks happy to pass on good advice.
The hive is not a Flow Hive, it is a Chinese made look-alike so I hope you didn’t pay too much for it.
I’ve seen some bamboo QX’s that are very poorly made and the queens can pass thru easily. A metal QX is dearer than the plastic ones but will last a lifetime, the plastic ones sag with age and become brittle and can crack. Don’t panic and replace it straight away but accept that at some time you may need to.
I like the idea of the meshed cover in the top photo, it would be a good piece of kit in moving a hive in a hot climate.
Cheers

Hi Jeff, we only have a solid inner cover, but looking at that mesh screen I thought it would be good to have a look at the activity/number of bees in the hive by just opening the roof. Wouldn’t that be the reason for including one? Having said that I never saw one for sale.

You can get a piece of poly carb or similar and use that as an inner cover.:wink:

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Hi Boo, I’ve got no idea why they include that screen cover. Probably for ventilation & to keep the bees out of the roof because the roofs have one big hole, unscreened on either end.

I would scrap the roof & mesh board, then replace them with a hive mat & migratory lid. The m. lid is more convenient than a gable roof in that you can rest things on it. You can sit a nuc on top of it. It’s like a mini work bench. Also by using a hive mat & m.lid, the bees propolize (glue) the lid to the honey super. Whereas with a crown board or mesh board, the bees propolize (glue) them down, leaving the gable roofs vulnerable to high winds.
cheers

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Yes Jeff that’s exactly what happend to us. The roof blew off and cracked all over. My dad bought one similar to the original, gabled, but it was $50 instead of $100 and came with a crown board too. This one is heavier and haven’t blown off yet, but being gabled can’t put a brick on it. We also have strap around it to keep it secure.

He should have got a flat lid.

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You wanted one like the original.

:-1:

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Next time Boo, beekeeping is addictive, I’m sure there will be a next time.
cheers

Hi @Joshua_B , welcome to the forum.

I am using similar (if not, same) woodware as you. My father gifted them to me. He said he bought it from his friend - I’m certain they are Chinese in origin.

I am quite frugal, so have used what I was given without replacing anything yet. Though, am ready to upgrade when and if the time comes that hiveware deteriorates.

I haven’t had any issues with the bamboo queen excluder. They have been in season for over a year without any signs of deterioration. I have scraped it, baked it in the oven dropped them without any issues. The bees haven’t chewed through them yet. They just cover them in bur comb.

The mesh top is dependent on your climate. We have moderate winters and dry hot summers. My hive wintered fine with them last winter (without a hive mat too). I would suggest using a hive mat.

If your winters are wet and cod, you could consider using mesh top as a base for a quilt box. Then you’ll get the benefits of a ventilation and insulation.

Like most advice, best to check with other local bee keepers.

Enjoy your time on the forum, there’s a wealth of information at your finger tips.

Regards,
Fred

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Hi all. Yes i know what you mean about the gable roof and the wind. However it is handy if you have to feed your bees and I do at the moment.

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Ok so to be sure, you over wintered your colony with an open mesh lid Fred?
Rain?

Lol you guys make me laugh :rofl::rofl::+1:

Boo you listen to your dad or else lol

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Just go clarify. I use the mesh top plus a gable roof to keep the rain out… :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for all the feedback excellent points! I have strapped the roof down and kept the mesh inner cover for now I will change that before the winter comes.