Most comb producers use them as a standard, some honey producers use then as a standard, mostly to keep brood out of the honey boxes. I can wrap my mind around that need/desire. so not having one is the open brood nest concept, so what do you perceive that gets you to make not using the excluder your standard? more honey, more sizing of the brood nest? why is it your standard?
I use them and am trying to understand the positives of why not to.
one sorce puts deep national at 6,360 cells per frame and the deep lang at 6141 cell per frame, another sorce says 6818 per frame for the national, Randy Oliver's writings put a deep lang at 6960... guess you can pick your poison.
On the practical side, I fill my mini nucs with an 8 oz cup, 600 or so bees.. by your numbers I could shake 2 frames and make 10 ... my experience in the field has been I need to shake more frames then that. Another way to look at it is one frame would give you enough bees for 10+ mite washes I don't see any were near that many when i do mine, maby 4 before fly off ?
density of coverage is often a bugger,
so to help, lets go with a common deffention of what a "frame" of bees is http://cestanislaus.ucanr.edu/files/141096.pdf
75%+ coverage at 4 or more bees per square inch.. so a "frame" would be 1072+ bees
any way I didn't quite finnish tieing the 2 posts I made together. Were i was going was My 7/3 timing box for grafting keeps the queen on 3 combs and brood is moved to the other side as its capped it has been running all summer packed with bees and is often bearding and allways has one frame for them to draw on... 9 very full frames and no drone all year. I wonder if the QE is playing a roll in, masking some of the workers form others or outherwize changing the trigger threshold
it is not really part of this post, put I will answer you. I don't like to be restricted in my movement, so why should the bees (or queens) be? The only time I had swarms was with the excluder and my thought is that if I restrict the queen to her two brood boxes and they are full (store or brood) she will look for ways to lay and will swarm. My supers are added early and I rather have the queen lay in the supers then run short of bees because the brood boxes are 2/3 full of stores. The frames with brood in the supers are simply moved out from the center (where they are always located), If I find brood in the supers and push them out, they are filled with honey next time I checked (I check every two weeks, Fridays from May on). My mentor now runs about 14,000 hives all without (honey) excluders, as he calls them. Wonder how you would feel if you had to squeeze through a gap that is 2" smaller then your body size to unload your nectar?
As I said, it is my principle (not principal) now.
Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum
19 days from egg to hatch with foundation less if they are small cell
There are ways of excluding the queen without creating such a need to squeeze through a tight gap. The Bienenkiste Hive uses a simple flat plate, and I've used a plywood excluder on a couple of occasions - and they work really well.
There's a picture of one I made at: http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek15a.htm - second photograph down.
Re: the 3-box, 15-frame stack.
The day before yesterday I moved the queen into the top box, leaving the brood combs (with eggs/larvae etc) in the bottom box, with two QX's between the three boxes - the idea being to create some Q/C's and so perhaps break any habitual behaviour.
Yesterday I discovered two supersedure cells had been started, but I was hoping for a little more than these, and so I inserted a sheet of thick plastic under the top box in order to cut-off the queen pheromone completely and thus create a queenless environment below that box.
Today I discovered that no more Q/C's have been started, and so alarm bells began to ring ...
Earlier I had said that the pollen frame in the No.1 slot appeared to have been treated differently to the others. Now whilst that was true to begin with, at some point it's pollen was removed and the queen began laying in that comb as well as the others. This remained unknown to me as I had stopped checking that frame, believing it to contain only pollen. Big mistake.
Having now checked that frame, I discovered it to contain lots of brood, and that there is no longer any stored pollen within it. Indeed, there was no obvious sign of stored pollen to be found anywhere within any of the fifteen frames.
Although pollen is coming into the hive on flying days (which at the moment is around one day in three, thanks to our 'Summer' weather), it's a no-brainer that it's this lack of stored pollen which is responsible for the low numbers of Q/C's.
This 'method' of getting combs drawn on bare frames is dependent upon a perceived need for worker-bee brood - and this in turn is dependent upon an adequate supply of pollen - presumably in the form of bee-bread - which they no longer have. Although I could rob other hives of their stored pollen, that would leave them short, and so I've reluctantly decided to halt experimentation this year, and re-commence next year after making provision for this essential requirement of an adequate supply of pollen and/or bee-bread.
With hindsight, I suppose this should have been anticipated - but it wasn't. 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing ...
LJ, I know folks feel differently about this, but I have been feeding pollen patties to keep the brood factories running in high gear. Perhaps you could resume your experiment with a little store bought help?
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.
If you are removing 19 day old brood at the end of the belt, where are the bees coming from that will sustain the colony?