I live in NE Ohio, so long cold winters. I have a Flow Hive. I have one brood box, then queen excluder, then Flow Hive. What is best practice after harvesting Flow Hive? Seems like one of two options. One is to simply remove the Flow Hive and reduce to the single brood box. Second is to replace the Flow Hive honey super with another brood box.
The first option seems to leave the colony short on space and available resources over the winter. The second option gives them plenty of space for resources but results in two brood boxes next spring. I can’t just remove the top brood box and replace with Flow Hive because queen might be “upstairs.” Is there a best practice for managing the brood boxes and honey super in northern climates?
I’m in Columbus, not as snowy but similar temps to you.
I’ve overwintered with a single deep, I fed them until they were stuffed to the gills last fall and they had plenty left before the maple bloom and early spring.
You could consider removing the flow super in mid summer, doing all your mite treatments and letting them store anything they can get in the summer and fall (goldenrod and aster) for winter time and feed them in October to get them up to weight.
Also consider watching the university of Guelph YouTube video on single brood boxes - their climate is similar to ours and probably have similar nectar flows.
Do you have a drawn out box of frames that you can put in the second deep?
She probably will be upstairs, you can probably evaluate on a warmish day in March, remove the lower box and shake whatever bees are in there into what was the upper box, let them build up in the spring for a bit before adding the flow super.
Thank you for these excellent suggestions to a new-bee keeper.