WHAT'S IT FOR? The queen excluder is a grid with slots that are large enough for a worker bee to get through, but too small for a mated queen to pass through. The most common use is for it to be placed between the space where the queen lays eggs in the bottom couple boxes and the boxes where extra honey is stored. Doing this helps keep the queen from laying eggs in boxes of honey that are to be harvested.
WHEN IS IT USED? Queen excludes are added to a hive when additional honey boxes are added to the hive. Usually, this is for only part of the year when the bees are making excess honey. For example, the queen excluder would go above the boxes included in our kits and under the additional boxes.
METAL OR PLASTIC? These excluders are made from metal which is more durable and easier to clean than plastic excluders. Bees treat both of them the same, so it is a beekeeper's choice. The plastic ones are more affordable and can actually be cut to custom sizes if desired.
OTHER USES: Queen excluders can be used in other scenarios in addition to keeping the queen out of the honey boxes. Beekeepers will sometimes use queen excluders when making nucleus hives and even to keep newly hived colonies of bees from leaving their new hive.