Howdy, Trent -- You make some great observations with this beehive. The Langstroth beehives on the market are all, or should be, built in accordance to Lorenzo's original 1852 Patent that laid out all the specifications. We adhere to it. Note, Lorenzo didn't invent the Queen Excluder, that came around circa 1865 by Abbe Collin, and use of it changes up the dynamic just a little. The bee-space is on top of the frames. Here's the theory you lay out. IF someone were to mill shallower rabbeted cuts for the frames, then your flipping the position of the bee-space from above the frames to below the frames of upper box, you still have a bee-space issue.
- You are correct in your observation.Use of the excluder comes with extra management and cleaning.
- Shimming can help, but expect bridge comb to develop so the bees can work their way up through this new space.
- In short, don't drop your frames, slide them in from the side. Using a QE does require more scraping of wax and propolis, just the nature of having an un-natural object inside the beehive.
- You can also consider the natural approach of not using the Queen Excluder (remember, it wasn't originally designed with one), as generally the queen will work in the lower regions naturally, and you might likely find the upper box completely brood-free.
I hope this clarifies things, please reach out if you have any further questions or need clarification!
Cameron + Bee Thinking Team