The idea of using a queen excluder is not a bad one, although I rarely have them leave the hive body once removed. Not that it hasn't happened but it is rare that is does. The idea of using the smoker. I find when doing cut outs that the smoker is usually useless. In most instances when dealing with nice bees, in the early stages of the removal, the bees generally don't mind you dealing with them. Later on, even nice bees become agitated, but smoking them just doesn't seem to help. Perhaps it's because once the majority of the comb is removed, there is nothing for them to protect anymore and what bees remain are just angry. I have tried smoking agitated bees until I was blue in the face, without success. I don't bother using my smoker anymore on cutouts. And if you haven't done a removal before, the advice about positioning the comb how it was oriented in the hive is excellent advice.