I would be curious to know the percentage that you folks experience losses due to store shortage vs bee shortage (not enough bees to maintain a viable cluster).
We all read about winter feeding methods, going into winter with enough stores, etc. I have a feeling that the majority of us err on the side of the liberal when it comes to how much we leave for them over the winter (and rightly so).
What we also read is how bees die within inches of stores (as mine did) more often than not. For those of us that started with only one hive, there was little we could do - especially being inexperienced. Combining won't be a mistake I fail to be able to make in the future.
I'm sitting on about 50 lbs of capped honey and uncapped nector with no bees to feed.
EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."