My bees do not seem to be moving up to the next box. A bee keeper told me that he does not use the Queen excluder. Any thoughts out there? Should I take it out?
Remove the Queen excluder
They won't move up into the super this time of year now, I would take off all your supers and let them collect nectar for their winter food, they will need treating now for varroa. regards Jean
Jean is right, it's too late in the season, but where is Los Gatos? What are your winter temperatures?
Here in northern Illinois, it's 90F probably for the last time this summer and I'm "compressing" the hives by removing a super every week. I need to get them down to 2 brood and 1 extra super by the end of September. It helps to feed them from October through Thanksgiving so they store up for winter.
I used to use excluders but a commercial beekeeper I know advised me not to. You might get some brood at the bottom of the second super in the early summer, but if you leave those frames in, they will hatch out and replace the brood cells with honeycomb.
Mix some powdered suger with corn or vegetable oil and spread it on the top frames and in the entrance before you close up the hive. It really helps suppress the mites.
I wrap my hives in rigid insulation for winter and keep at least 1 small bee-sized vent hole in the top super open all winter, even though the temp here will drop to -20-30F.