>So why is a queen excluder a waste. I thought it would keep the brood separate from the supers.
They are worth having one around. There are a few things I use them for, but keeping brood out of the supers is not one of the uses I have for it. It just keeps the bees from working the supers and restricts the queen and leads to swarming. But if you can't find a queen, and really need to, you can cut the area you have to look in half by putting an excluder in and come back in three days and look for eggs. She's in the half with eggs. You can repeat that and cut it in half again if you need to. You can also shake the bees through an excluder to find a hard to find queen if you are desperate.
>So far, that is my only mistake, and I have much left to buy.
I wouldn't call it a mistake. It will come in handy sometime or another to have one.
>I gather if you consider doing swarm or wall removal that you need a full suit over a jacket?
Either or will do. But a full suit like the Ultra Breeze or the Golden Bee Products is nice for a cutout as it's virtually sting proof, and anything else is not.