Re: 3 deeps = successful overwintering?
I use mostly 3 deep or two and a half deeps, but do have mayby 15 % in two deeps. most of my two deeps are getting light but the three deeps are heavy.
a couple things to watch with 3 deeps, many times they will fill the bottom deep with pollen, so if you just evaluate the weight during the summer by just picking them up, you may think the queen has room to lay in the bottom deep, but it's really full of pollen. also if you remove the bottom deep in the spring to clean and paint etc, you are removing there pollen source. I usually rotate it to the top in the spring b/4 the queen lays eggs in it to give them more room.
also the three deep will help avoid swarming, but you end up with alot more bees than in a two deep, and if you are not treating for mites, they will have a tendence to crash. when you do get a swarm out of one of these hive they are something to see.
also don't bee suprised if the queen lays up the middle in a chimney effect and they fill the outside frames with honey, if you don't get a late flow it will sometims leave them higher in the hive with the honey on the outside below them.
also if the hive is too heavy in the spring, yuo may have to remove honey and replace with empty comb.
mike syracuse ny
I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon