I knew everybody was good because they've been flying and bringing in lots & lots of pollen, but went in to see how good and if I had to reverse the hive bodies. "Dowty's Dames," the hive given to me in September, consisted of one brood box and one Illinois super and was very light when I brought it home, so I immediately removed the Apistan strips, used FGMO weather permitting and fed them 2:1 throughout the winter season. Today there were lots of bees in both boxes. 8 of the 10 frames in the Illinois super were full of honey. The brood box was full of honey, pollen & brood. So I added another Illinois super & fed them 1:1 with Honey Bee Healthy, leaving the entrance reducer in place. The second hive, which I call "The Apis Amazons" were brimming over in two brood boxes. I had fed them throughout the winter as well and there was honey and comb everywhere! The top box was so heavy, I couldn't lift it (as an afterthought, it may have been "glued down like hive #3--see below), so I pulled some frames and looked into the bottom box and could see it was full of bees, honey, brood & pollen. Since the boxes are so crowded and I really don't want to split the hive (I don't want four hives!!), I added an Illinois super. Since it looks to me like I've overfed them, I took off the hive top feeder, removed the entrance reducer and left them to redistribute what they already have. The third hive which I call "The Comeback Kids" (they went queenless last year and developed laying workers but went into the fall & winter looking good) was similar to my Amazons--lots of very white honey and they had drawn out last year's new foundation with the most beautiful white wax! They too had burr comb everywhere--the frames of the top brood box were glued to the frames in the bottom brood box! It was only by removing every frame that I was able to remove the top box to look into the lower one which was perfect--full of brood pollen & honey. Since it seemed to me that I probably overfed them as well, I did not put the hive top feeder back on them and removed the entrance reducer. Then I fogged all three hives. I thought feeding them throughout the winter could cause no harm, but what a mess I had to clean up! It took me over two hours to tend to three hives!
My question is: Did I take the right steps to take care of them? Opinions please.
As an aside: I've been fogging my bees every 5 days, weather permitting, since I got them--no cords; no thymol. Several drone larva which were in the burr comb between the boxes were broken during manipulations. Inspection revealed no varroa. Yay!