I'm sure experienced beeks have noticed this but others might find it interesting. Have had 4 days or so of rain and cold, pretty much the first of the season. I made a few slatted racks out of curiosity over the Winter. Today I found chilled brood on the landing boards of the hives without the racks and none on the hives with. So I guess they work at least somewhat.
Also I started feeding 5/3 syrup in an empty deep on the hives using mason jars propped up with wood shims (A suggestion from the forum!). I have been working late, and have been peeking in to see if they need filling after dark. The bees will continue to take syrup after dark even though they aren't flying. I also have one weak hive and another hive from a late swarm (really late - Sept 10th) that I chucked a half of pollen patty into - and they are taking them down. I figure if the weather was warmer and dryer and they could fly they wouldn't touch the patty - we still have goldenrod and asters.
Tip for mason jars - after a use or two it is hard the get the lids off - but I found that if you rub a candle stub around on the threads of the jar and the lid that they come right off.