So... my strong hive.
In years past ive actively managed the hive. Ive tried to keep brood to the bottom, honey on top. Ive actively moved around supers that the queen layed in and then also moved supers the bees backfilled with honey. I also used excluders to manage this.
Generally this method was meet with mostly success. I pull honey off the hive, it makes it through the winter, perhaps it swarms perhaps it doesnt... perhaps i take a split... all these things have happened in the past with my one "strong" hive.
so this year, Ive decided to head in a different direction. No excluders and just give them more boxes to do whatever they wanted with. They overwintered in 3 med supers and did great. a Month ago i added an additional med honey super to the top and a deep to the bottom.
Todays inspection says, the queen had no intrest in moving back down to the bottom and kept laying up top. the bees have packed the bottom super with fresh nectar and polen. So i said screw it, i said I was going to let them do there own thing, so i will. I put everything back the way it came off the hive, and added another med honey super on the top. (the previous one i had added was starting to be filled with fresh nectar) No queen cells noted with attention paid to looking for them.
The strong hive currently sits at (in order from bottom to top)... one deep (80% netar 20% pollen, no brood) 3 med 10 frame suppers 6-8 frames of capped brood each. 1 9 frame med honey super being filled with fresh nectar, 1 9 frame med super that will need half frames drawn (other half are drawn alternating)
Oh and the other hive is slow but predictable. they overwintered in a deep with a full med super of honey on top. A month ago it got checker boarded with the still mostly full super of honey and a second med honey super above. Todays inspection is as expected, queen has layed up the the bottom deep with brood, workers were working on storeing fresh nectar in open frames I gave a month ago and drawing others that were foundationless. They were working in the top box but did not seem to need the room like the strong hive. I prepared a 2nd 9 frame med honey super to go on top and will add in another week or 2 depending on how warm weather and the flow goes.