what to do with two weak colonies for winter
I keep my 2 colonies in 8 frame mediums. Both currently consist of just 2 mediums. It was a weird summer, with swarms and supercedures, and neither colony really took off in terms of numbers or stores. On inspection today, Colony 1 has 3 frames of brood, 5 of heavy but uncapped stores, and 8 empties. (Those empties are on the outsides of each box, but are the equivalent of a whole box.) Colony 2 has 5 frames of brood, 7 of moderate mostly uncapped stores, and 4 empties. I'm currently feeding 2:1 syrup.
Should I keep feeding them?
Should I combine them?
Should I rearrange colony 1, take out those empties, and take it down to just one box? (Feels a bit strange to go into winter with just a medium).
I'm in the mountains of NC, and expect a first frost in the next week.