I only run single brood hives. In the past few years we have generally left our flow supers on- and on some hives I have with traditional supers I left one on too. However this winter I plan to remove all empty/partially filled supers.
However I am slightly worried about making sure the bees are not over-crowded- and also have enough stores. I am in Adelaide where winters are relatively mild and the bees can forage throughout. Often times brood boxes come out of winter with frame of honey intact. However at our bee society recently an experienced beek suggested that hives need around 17kg’s of honey to get through winter. I am fairly certain he is a ‘double brood’ man…
As an example of what I am concerned about: I am helping a girl who’s sister abandoned a hive that has two boxes. I inspected th other day and the top box is 100% fully capped honey. I plan to help her harvest that honey on Monday. I am not sure what to do after I have done that: replace the super with empty stickies- ir store it away for next year. I am unsure if all the bees will fit comfortably down into the one box.
I am considering putting ideals with QX’s on some hives as a compromise- but not sure if the bees will manage to put anything in them over the end of autumn- and if they will just make it harder for the bees to stay cozy.