pretty much. You have her limited to that area. Just start pulling frames and remember to check the bees on the hive body(not on the frames if you are looking for the queen). Eggs or very young larva(roughly the size of an egg or 2x)will indicate that a queen has been laying very recently.
>How are you suppposed to inspect the hive for a laying queen if you have honey supers on?? Take them off remove excluder and continue diggin' till you find her????
Even if you don't have an excluder, which I seldom do, she's unlikely to be on combs that don't have brood on them. I do take a quick glance if I happen to have a frame of honey in my hand and I'm serious about finding a queen, but the odds of her being on a honey comb are very low. I don't spend any amount of time on those. Pay attention to the ones with brood on them. Also watch the bees and see how they act. They always seem calmer to me on the frame with the queen. I search those kinds of frames with more intesity.
Of course, if you build a long hive like mine and keep the brood nest at the back and the supers at the front, then you don't have to move the supers to find her.
>if we were to diregard the advantage of not having to lift a super for a moment has your experiance shown the the bees to prefer to store over the brood nest?
Bees prefer to store honey where they can find room. On my long hive I have a top entrance that moves up the supers as you add them. The bees have to go through the supers to get to the brood chamber. They seem quite happy to store honey there without making the trip all the way to the brood nest. Maybe they percieve that as above the nest since its up and it's on the way out?
What really helped me learn to find queens was helping a fellow beekeeper one time going through about 35 hives. If you can find a mentor who will let you do this, I think it will help build your proficiency(sp)at queen finding. It did me. After a solid day of supervised queen-finding my confidence and success levels were greatly improved.
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