I know there's a rather lengthy thread involving the concept of using deeps & mediums or all mediums, but I want to start a separate thread WRT my situation. A friend is giving/loaning me two complete hives to use on my place this year to see if I really am into beekeeping (complete newbee BTW) before I make the full investment. He's not into keeping bees at his place in town anymore because he's had a hard/near impossible time overwintering his hives. He's only had them come through one year out of 5, the 1st year, and he rarely has gotten honey for himself. His hives consist of all mediums, but I'm not sure if he uses two or three mediums for the brood and honey chambers before putting on honey supers.

My question is this: would I have a better chance of overwintering bees in my area (northern Front Range of Colorado, USDA Zone 5) if I went with 2 deeps for brood/honey for the bees then began to add honey supers instead of his approach of using all mediums for everything? My thought process is that if I can give them as much space to fill up with honey before adding supers, then the better chance they have of overwintering in this part of the world. Am I all wet there?