5 Mediums? Thats more than they need and it is likely the bees will never use what's in that 5th box. Bees will usually cluster in the top brood box.
Thanks for taking the time to respond..great Info!
I just went out and put my ear on both hives and took a quick peek under the outer cover.
The east hive sounds like the cluster is in the 4th super (1st being lowest)
There are bees hanging from the ceiling of the outer cover through the center hole in the inner cover only.
The west however they are in the 5th super, at least that's were it's loudest.
What is really blowing my mind is, the space between the inner and the outer cover is "full" of bees!...and it's 10 flippin' deg's out!...no sun!!!
I couldn't get dry sugar to them if I wanted to.
Before winter.. in both hives they only had 3-4 frames of brood in the 3rd super and the "hum" of the cluster has been above that "all winter"....Yikes
We've had very cold temps and only 2 day's above 50 degs, one day in late Dec. it almost hit 70. The east hive came out in a giant pooping cloud!
But, it looked like the west hive had half the number coming out.
I'm thinking about drilling a upper entrance hole in the 3rd super so they don't have to travel so far to get out???
They sound strong still and the death rate has been reasonable....
I now know I made a mistake not consolidating them down for winter, but I know you folks will help me make the best of it,
What do you think?
I try to make sure that all 3-4 medium boxes are full of pollen and honey stores and that each box has brood comb in it. If it doesn't I rearrange things a bit after the final harvest. If light by Oct 1 I will feed until I see the beginnings of burr comb. The burr comb is an indicator that the combs are full and the bees are now filling in the nooks and crannies with the excess. An empty lower does make a dead air insulation barrier but a slatted rack works as well and serves as a break room and fanning station during the summer.
That makes perfect sense to me.....I don't have a slatted rack I'm using a SBB.
I did not know why they created burr comb, but thanks to you I understand now :)