Last year was my first year, got my packages last spring. The year went well, lots of trial and error, but they were strong going into the winter.
When it was time to leave them be until spring, I couldn't find a definitive answer as to why leave the super on over winter, or remove it.
On one of my hives, I left it on. In the top deep, it didn't look like they would have enough storage to survive. My thinking was to give them the nutrition they need and deal with the consequences, if any, later.
In January, I went to my local association's meeting and we broke into discussion groups. It was there that I discovered the wrath I have bestowed upon myself. A very seasoned beekeeper explained to me the reason why supers are removed, and that I'm going to have to move the super down, because the queen's most likely laying in it because over the course of the cold months, they move up. Now I get it!
Now what do I do? Simply leave the super in tact and put it on the bottom, with a deep on top and wait until later in the season to remove it?
I thought about doing the above-mentioned and doing weekly inspections and removing the frames that have the least brood in them, to make the process quicker, but then realized that bee-space would be compromised, and they'll just want to build burr comb and remain there.
What is certain is that I don't want to kill the developing colony.
I would love any feedback and tips to guide me through this. I have an 8-frame setup. At the moment it has 2 mediums (maybe that was wrong too) and a (shallow?) super on it.
This year is all about becoming the best I can at this. Even though I became a member of our local beekeepers association, my job made it impossible for me to take advantage of any of the meetings and field trips last year. This year, I've changed it so I will be able to go to all of them.
I went back quite a few pages to see if there was a similar thread and didn't find one, so please forgive me if there is one like mine out there.