I bought two queen excluders, bees wouldnt move above them. In the backyard, it doesnt matter if you have to work around brood in the second, third or dare I say it 4th super. The commercial types just want to be able to lift a super off, blow the bees off and stick it on the truck. They have no time to inspect frames for brood and reshuffle things, we do and besides you learn more.
I reckon the best way to inspect each frame is to always have a spare super. You inspect and place frames from top super into this empty one on the ground. Its now the top box, place all of the second frames into the one you took off that is now empty stick it on top, this is second from the top super etc etc. When you are finished your top box is the bottom box etc etc. So easy, beats leaning frames against hives.
The bees mostly stay on the frames they are not in the open for very long, just long enough to look at the frame. They think that the sun came out for a minute, they dont know they are being moved around. I find you dont have to remove bees from fraames to see whats going on. You just have to look beyond the bees.
Everything you want to see you will. Looking for the queen, eggs, larvae, capped, uncapped partially capped, drone cells you name it, its all like finding gold: You just know it when you see it. After a while you dont need the sun and all that, you just know what to sexpect and what you are looking for and where it should be.
Sitting outside the hive for 10 minutes is good too. Look at whats coming in and how much, tells you a lot about what they are feeding on. Get an easel or a chair and photograph the frames. They blow up on the screen so well you can see a bees nuts. Saves time too. I used to do it all the time. Much netter than staring at a frame in the sun for 5 minutes.
I tried storing drawn frames, didnt really achieve much. Were a pain in the arse in the freezer and attracted moths out of it. Anyways, ive had bees draw out both sides of a frame in just over a week. They would spend half that time making an old frame frozen and stored up to their standards, well mine did.
We are blessed on the coast of Vic. Even Joffas coastal. We always have regular flows throughout the year. Most of the world relies on summer and spring. We have been in drought for well over a decade, but you wouldnt know it down here. You can run as many hives as you can fit on your land. If you own your own house, Id aim for 10 hives. That would bring in, lets be misearable and say 100kg a hive a year, cal it a mean 5 bucks a kilo, thats 5 grand a year for not much effort. Cost 2 grand in hives and parts, payback 100% in second year of each hive. Then theres the farmers market value added option, charge 10 bucks a kilo in a hand painted jar with a bit of comb inside etc. Honey is one thing you can really value add to. Its not unlike water that we pay $1.60 a thousand litres for, yet if its bottled, the same amount costs 4000 buckeroos.
I tell ya, theres money to be made in honey. Its becoming so hard for commercial keepers, the market is there for the taking by backyarders.
Theres a bloke on here that started with a coupla hives a few years ago, now hes got more hives than you can poke a smoker at, raises queens , moves hives to crops, you name it.
When you look at cost/returns, bees have it on toast. Animals cost money in food and vets and fencing etc. Crops take megalitres of water and herbicide and pestacide and tilling and weeding etc. Bees, you just need supers and frames that can be made for dollars not cents if so inclined. Bees can come for free, you dont need to water em or feed em or weed em, you dont even have to milk em! Just empty the bottles!