Trying to decide what to do. As winter starts next week. I live in a mild climate central coast NSW Australia. (Temperate/subtropical)I have a 3 box hive. Bottom box is full of bees brood and stores. Middle box is the flow hive that is 25% nectar(undersupered last month). Top box is a langstroth 85% capped honey. There is a strong flow currently(ironbark) and the bees are very active collecting nectar and pollen. There are quite mild days forecast. Ie 22deg centigrade today. But it will start to cool down over the next weeks. Im worried that if i take the flow hive box out they may not have enough space to store nectar with this current flow. Im worried that if i leave it as is that the bulk of the resources are too far from the brood and queen if there is a dearth and that there is too much room in the 3 boxes over the winter.
I’m sure someone will pipe up with a help note more. Not exactly knowing your region or climate I won’t steer you Wrong !
I’m up here in Seattle region n we are in mid-Spring. Up here id have to get my Flow out of the system as our late nectar crystallizes very rapidly n tastes off/no so good. That why I’m refraining from directing your thots.
Sounds like you’ve done fair to good. I had to add patties mid winter up here. My bees were very active with late mid winter so colony didn’t reduce quick enough n ate too much stores here.
Good luck n watch to see who helps you,
I’m sure you will be ok to leave it as it is. I would rob the full frames of honey. Your queen will keep laying right through winter, if what my queens do on the Sunshine Coast is any guide. The bees will probably constrict the brood. In doing that, they will surround the constricted brood with honey. Therefore you wont need to worry so much about the bees being able to access the honey in the top box.
Once spring begins, they will open the brood up again. If you look into the brood during spring you will see a definite line above the brood where the bees have emptied all the honey out of the cells in order for the queen to lay in. You will often see the newly laid eggs.
If you live near suburbia, your bees will have an added advantage because there will always be something in flower for the bees to forage.
I would flip the super and flow box. Put the QE below the flow box so they have access to the super. Otherwise, where you are is not a problem over winter, you don’t have a winter
I would do what Rob @Rmcpb suggests too. Then you can always take the Flow super off later to conserve heat, once the nectar flow is over.