I think that I'm figuring out what I've done wrong BUT I've not yet figured out how to makes things right.
In my area the major honey flow comes from Purple Loosetrife and goldenrod late in the season so I hadn't been checking my two hives that often.
We've had a great great Summer for flowers and I think that gave me an unanticipated honey flow. The two hives were two deeps high in June (usually enough) and I found them to be chock full O' honey, little room for brood. So I put another deep on each hive to give the queen more room to lay.
I didn't want to put on honey supers thinking that if I
a) used a queen excluder she would still feel cramped and would encourage swarming.
b) not use a queen excluder and she would scamper all the way up and start laying brood in the open, drawn cells that I had just provided.
Now what I have is two hives filled with 3 deeps each brood AND honey, but interstpersed in a very odd pattern (frames with one side capped honey, other side brood/pollen/honey, next fram all honey, next frame both sides brood/pollen/honey).
Both hives seem othewise healthy, but I don't want to go into Fall/Winter with three deeps each. I tried that last year with a very healthy hive and it didn't do too well over Winter. I'm assuming it had just too much to try to keep warm in those three deeps.
Where should I go from here? Is there a proper way to get rid of that third deep as the end of the season draws near? If I put on honey supers would the girls start moving honey or nectar from the deeps to up top?
Both hives seem to be doing so well, I'm hoping that I can correct my error before we go into Fall.