Moving 2nd box prior to winter and mite treatment on Cape Cod

Hello, I am new to beekeeping and have a flowhive 2. I got a nuc in May and added a second box in June under the original box and later I added a flow hive. Should I move the second box on top of the first before winter? I have not inspected it yet, but think it might have more honey stores and know that bees move up throughout the winter.
Also I haven’t seen any mites, should I treat prophylactically before winter?
Thank you in advance,

There are a few things to unpack here…

What was the status of the other two boxes when you added the flow super?

You’ve not inspected it since when? Generally you don’t want to add another box brood or super until you have verified that the bees are mostly (80%) filling the space they have.

By the time you see mites on bees your level of infestation is probably quite high. You likely will see some on your tray but this isn’t a good way to count.

You should do a wash or sugar shake to count mites or can try an accelerated drop count with oxalic acid (not with you flow super in place). Many people in my area are treating with formic acid as soon as the weather is cool enough or oxalic acid once honey has been harvested. There are more options available, of course.

It seems like you might have plunged in without having your game plan in order - certainly not the first to realize that things are more complicated than they seem. Do you have a mentor locally?

Hello Chau06,
Thank you for your prompt reply to my posting. i have joined my local beekeeping assn., however they do not provide mentors. I’m relying on books, videos, and an online course I have taken. I also have some non-local folks whom I can use a resources…none with flowhive experience:/ This also makes it a bit difficult as different areas of the country follow protocols at different times as you know. I also get a lot of conflicting advice…
I could not totally inspect the lower box last time because I thought I could move a number of frames out of the upper hive to access the lower hive and found it too challenging to manage going through the top box to get to the frames in the lower one. I could however see the bees between the frames (loads) and that minimally the three outer frames on one side were honey. I didn’t want to set the upper box on the ground. (In the meantime we have something to put the separate boxes on for inspection.) I got a very robust nuc (5 frames) in late May that filled the empty 5 frames in less than 3 weeks, given the exponential growth curve of a hive, I was relatively certain that the rest of the lower box was filled to the minimum 80% three weeks later…so I added the flow hive. Luckily, the bees are populating this area, despite my rookie move.
Given that I have a new hive, I have been told that I should not take any honey from the hive this year, which makes sense. I don’t want to remove any honey stores they are building in the flowhive to treat for mites. What would you suggest? Should I leave the flowhive on since the bees are using that over the winter?
Also, I have located someone that can demo a sugar shake for me in August:) I’ll see what acid I choose depending on the hive conditions at that time. Thank you again and in advance.

You should remove the flow super for the winter - the honey will crystallize and the bees will gum it up with propolis if you leave it. Not to mention that the queen will lay drone brood in there if she has access, which she would need to if that’s their winter stockpile.

In your subsequent inspections, see how much honey is in the two brood boxes. You can harvest the flow honey and just feed them sugar syrup if you need to in the fall to make sure they have enough to make it through the winter.