Hello all, this is my first post and my first real venture into serious beekeeping. Long story short, we have a single langstroth hive (two deep supers) that has been neglected for years. It has been periodically checked on by myself and several family friends, but no one who is a knowledgeable beekeeper.
As September is harvest time, I plan to open up the hive next week. The issue is that the last person to maintain it removed several frames (I believe they said four or five) and did not replace them. I have not looked inside the hive yet, but I'm expecting the half of the super with missing the frames to be an absolute mess of comb. Am I correct in assuming this, or would the bees build neat comb right from the inner cover? In either case, how to i remedy the situation? Is it as simple as taking as much comb off as neatly as I can, installing new frames, and letting the bees clean everything up? Is it safe to do this right before Winter, or should I skip the harvest and leave them alone until Spring, and clean it up then?