I am near Ft Collins, Colorado, and if you are in the north east part of Kansas this is probably sort of relevant.
I typically run a deep on the bottom for the brood nest and stack mediums on top of that. I try to go into winter with 2-3 mediums full of honey/syrup. I have seen a smaller hive consume as little as 30 lbs of stores during the winter, and a big one consume 65+ lbs. I would rather go into winter with to much stores if the hive is in good shape (strength and mite load)
Biermann "I never understand why one would have different size boxes & frames, just complicates life"-------- I thought the same thing once.. I used "intuition" to define my standard Langstroth brood chamber, summer and winter, as a Medium + Deep + Medium. Also part of the reason was I had the hardware but could cut it down or build up to a size.
My observations after two years with my standard brood chamber; 1) intuition still tells me the nurse bees and queen like big frames or larger brood areas, 2) makes it easy to move honey frames down to the top medium box, a little harder to the lower medium box. The main brood chamber stays centerd in the Deep and stay "light". 3) I have no reason to change, so it seems.
I can easily store 80 lb. of honey plus bees and brood space in this configuration. The bottom medium is mostly used as a transition area or as a brood area, if needed. The upper medium has remained the honey band with some brood on the central frames. I still like the idea but I also heavily insulate, all year now.
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