Re: How many frames of bees ... ?
If there was a formula, we wouldn't need experience. Too many factors play into winter survival. It ends up being a guessing/feeling game that totally changes next year. There is a lot of info here that provides guidence or previous experience based on a lot of different factors. I like my brood in 1 box with stores immediately beside and above them. The movie 'march of the penquins' taught me a lot about how creatures survive in extreme temps.
EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."