I'm a very inexperienced BeeKeeper. I've been "tightning" up my hives in preparation for winter. From the stores collected it looks like my area had a decent flow this fall. I've reduced my hives to two brood boxes each. Most seem to have a heavier top box than bottom. I'm assuming that's because there's more brood in the bottom boxes. However, I'm concerned that several of my hives have become honey bound as there is very little room for the queen to continue laying. Right now it appears she's just laying where there is room. Bees are everywhere but not solid over all frames. I'd estimate 65% - 75% coverage though. The frames are not all capped as there is uncapped cells with nectar/uncapped honey all over the place. I've noticed anywhere between five to ten good queen cells depending on the hive. I destroyed all of them as I didn't want my hives to swarm. I did verify that all queens were alive and well by observing uncapped brood and by putting my eyes on the queen(s). Would a hive actually swarm this late in the year? I'm assuming I can pull a 2-4 frames (2 from the lower brood box and 2 from the upper brood box) from the center of the brood box of each hive in that I think is honey bound and extract the honey so I'm able to put empty comb for the queen to lay in back in the hive(s). Am I right to do this?
I've got nine hives and four of them are as described above. The Golden Rod is pretty heavy so I won't keep the honey but would like to give it back to the bees. However, if I try to provide an open air feeding setup won't they just fill the comb back up? Should I try to "save" the honey and feed it back to them later in the winter? If I should open feed, how do you keep the bees from drowing in a tray, bin, tuperware container, etc?
Thanks in advance for all assistance.