Each hive I've ever wintered successfully has had at least one full box of bees, and I've used two deeps to winter them in. This year I have several hives that don't quite fill a box. Three of them, in fact have about 5 -- 7 frames of bees. Still some brood to erupt, but that's it.
With these colonies the size they are, should I reduce them to one-deep and winter them that way? What I'm meaning is will a colony that size do better in a two deep hive or more crowded into one deep? I've been feeding all the hives and they are filling comb in both boxes. But then again, the hives with smaller populations are slower about taking the syrup. So should I reduce them so as to let them get a deep full of stores before winter sets in?
I also have two hives that I started from splits this summer and are now full one box hives. They are taking syrup just fine. Shall I just leave them as is?
On all the hives I plan to put 15 lbs. sugar boards, so hopefully running out of stores shouldn't be a problem.
My inclination is to leave the two one-deep hives as is, and reduce the other three weaker hives. Then stack all the one-boxers and wrap together for protection and warmth. Not certain this is best, though.