No, I didn't say that. I was just talking about cluster strength. The bees could certainly have a strong cluster in 2 deeps and not starve. I prefer to have an extra medium for a couple reasons. It allows me a bit of extra time to get around in the spring before swarming starts. Also allows the bees to build large populations for winter while at the same time storing adequate honey. Since I favor large clusters going it to and out of winter, I find a 2 deep, 1 medium broodnest to be best for me and my bees.Just to clarify -
Mike: what you are saying is you call a "strong" colony a colony with cluster in 2+ deep boxes before the dandelion. Meaning if these bees were only in a 2 deep configuration, they'd have starved. Correct?
I say this because I think way too many of the northern beeks are trying to winter in a 2 deep only configuration which does not have enough honey to build up to strong, maximum potential.
I'm running 2 deeps plus a medium or 4 mediums myself and finding great winter success and no need to feed.