My daughter and I are first year beekeepers, with colony we started in early May from a package and foundationless frames. After a mid-July inspection showed the bees thriving, with the frames about 80 - 90% combed out and plenty of bees, we added a second deep brood box and eight waxed plastic frames. We pulled up two frames from the first box into the new box, and replaced them with plastic frames.
We did an inspection yesterday and found that almost all of the frames were well covered with bees, but on the eight plastic frames the bees had only partially combed out and put capped honey on 4 surfaces, leaving the other 12 surfaces of the 8 plastic frames with no real comb.
My question is: with winter approaching (we live in Connecticut in the New England part of the US), should we remove the second deep and consolidate the bees into the original box and frames? They’d lose the capped honey and nectar they’ve already stored on the plastic frames, but they’d have a lot less space to keep warm in winter.
Any advice greatly appreciated!
The full set of photos from the inspection can be found here.
A sample frame from the original brood box:
A sample frame from the new brood box that has some capped honey and nectar: