Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive
Unscientifically, I don't touch the 2 bottom boxes, regardless of the configuration. On strong hives I leave a drawn medium or super above that, but the general consencious is that you want the bees to consolidate stores in and around the brood area as winter approaches (not upwards into multiple supers) so that they don't have to break cluster to reach food. By now on my established hives, the bottom box is pretty much a wasteland of old brood comb and nothing else which I will cull all nasties and reverse to the top in early spring for expansion.
BTW, they are sucking down close to a gallon of 1:1 a day, so protect their winter stores accordingly because they will eat up everything they can to prepare, especially in a dearth.
EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."