You know how you've read all the books and seen way too many videos of every possible combination of beekeeping technique? Then you find yourself hesitating to go out to the hive for fear you will not get it right?
So I revisit these issues and my husband said it is the same for him in his business. Some little thing nagging away...some little piece of the puzzle missing before you can feel confident to move on.
He spoke with an adviser just a rehash of things he already knew and he worried he'd wasted the guy's time; but mentioned that while they were talking he was crossing little bridges in his mind about these issues and now he could move on with some of them.
I realized in my beekeeping...the idea of a queen excluder and smaller supers. The smaller supers can actually act as a queen excluder. She won't lay in a small space and that is why they built comb up through the center...like in the wild...one long comb through the center. I think scraping the comb off the top of the frames is a good maintenance technique for this reason. Hopefully it will train the queen to keep laying into the fullness of the Hive Deep.
My queen is now in two Medium Supers with a Hive Deep on top. I hope she will move up once I get the excluder off. I'll try and harvest a few frames to put back in later next Spring 2012... and then just set a small super on top of the hive deep once she moves in.