This is an update i sent finski and wanted to put it out there for additional suggestions...
Just got done checking 2 of my 3 hives and boy oh boy are they ever different - hive 1 has only two deeps (no honey supers) and that hive has mainly capped brood and capped honey in all of the frames in the top deep. I didn't take the top deep off so all I know about is the top deep and it is nearly at capacity with little or no room to grow.. Should I be concerned about the lack of space?http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg520/Beesandme/b0bcb9d2.jpg
Hive 2 has two deeps and a medium honey super on top. The super has a few frames with nothing on the at all - just completely blank frames with no comb at all. These are frames 1,2 and 10. http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg520/Beesandme/a7471fd3.jpg
The rest of the frames have some comb on them and 5 of the frames have some capped honey albeit a very small amount. http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg520/Beesandme/3c08b43e.jpg
The top deep is packed and I mean really packed full of honey with only 1 frames having a little brood on it. After removing it to start the inspection of the bottom deep I noticed that the bottom deep was very light with some brood and almost no honey... Shortly after I started inspecting it I found evidence of brood. This deep was approximately 30% capped with some uncapped with another 10% uncapped brood. Several frames had brood on them but a few had none.... http://i1241.photobucket.com/albums/gg520/Beesandme/d2677388.jpg
I didn't inspect hive 3 due to the obnoxious nature of the bees in hive 2, the bees in hive 2 were über angry. It was clear to me that they were not happy about me disassembling their hive. (stung 2 times on the neck 2mm's apart). Hive 1's bees could not have been more docile.
On to my questions...
1) regarding hive 1 - what should I do about the crowded nature of this hive? Should I add a super? At this point I think they wouldn't really do much with it. I really kind of wanted to feed them going into winter but I don't know where they'd store it. I guess that they may have capacity in the bottom deep since I didn't look at it, but if it's anything like hive 2 it's probably relatively empty. Is it safe to assume that there's capacity in the bottom deep?
2) regarding hive 2 - I was very impressed at the amount of honey these bees have packed away for the winter, but more than a little concern with the lack of brood. Don't get me wrong there was some brood but it was mainly in the bottom deep and only about 1/2 of the frames had brood on them. Only 1 frame in the top deep had brood - frame 8. My question here is what to do with the partially full super? Should I remove it so that the bees concentrate on filling the bottom deep? Should I feed this hive sugar syrup? btw, the top deep must have weighted over 100 lbs (40kg). It was absolutely packed with capped honey.
3) regarding all hives - what can I do to get them set for the winter? Should I put a white board under the screened bottom board to check for mites? Should I medicate them at all?
Any suggestions you may have will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions.