Winter is fast approaching which means my bee season is upon me. We're at the end of the dearth and the girls are starting to bring back yellow pollen, although I can't figure out where it's from.
However, my hives are currently all 8 frame single deeps. I took off the supers a month or so ago to harvest and left them as singles. However, many of them are exploding at the seams! Most have 7-8 frames of brood and every other cell in the hive is either nectar or pollen. I started feeding when I took the supers off and added a couple beepro patties to each hive, which they have already taken down and I just added new ones this last weekend.
What I'd like to do is add a second deep so I can have more brood resources come January/Febuary for splits with new queens (this is historically when I start seeing large amounts of drones). Would it be too early to do this? My concern is stretching them out too thin to where they can't properly manage the hive and begin shrinking, instead of growing. Current temps are highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Winter will get down in the low 40s with highs in the 60s.
My other concern, which comes up every year, is moisture. I'm coastal and we get a lot of rain and very high humidity levels. I've switched to the Mann Lake Wintering inner covers and plan on keeping dry sugar on top of the hives, insulating the top, and maybe adding a medium full of burlap or cotton insulation to help keep down the moisture in the hive. Anything else that's been tested and proven? Cover the tops with signboard?