Queen Excluder Question

Hello. If your hive has a queen excluder and an upper entrance and your hive supersedes can the new queen get out?

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If you have a queen excluder below an upper entrance, and there is no lower entrance, then most likely the new queen will be unable to get out.

I'm not going to say that's an absolute, because laying queens are considerably larger in size than young queens that haven't mated yet. So there may be instances where a virgin queen might be able to pass through the openings of a queen excluder.

But if she couldn't, of course, then you'd have a situation where the queen couldn't mate, and the colony would essentially be queenless.

I've never tried it myself, but I've heard of beekeepers using an upper entrance over an excluder, with the brood chamber beneath with no lower entrance at all.

Using that system, though - in addition to the supersedure scenario - you'd have the problem of drones being trapped in the brood chamber, since they also can't pass through an excluder.

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