I recently went to check on my hive to strategise on what I would do from winter and found I had a considerable wax moth issue in the base of the hive (it's a flow hive base that comes with a core flute bottom cover that can be slid in and out in two positions) I was looking to close this up to the top slot for winter when I noticed the signs. I have now discarded the core flute (and replaced with a perspex) as you will see in the pics from dropbox link below here the moths have used its flutes to advantage.
I have also elected to go with a hybrid 2nd box (of 3 - 4 flow frames that have varying amounts of honey and 2 standard frames) As the recent meeting gave 5 different expert opinions on how to winter down, I figure you do what you think is best in a trial and error scenario as the Flow is new not only in general but particularly as its the first 'southern' winter for the Flow system. I wait in anticipation for the wealth of info that will come for next season as we all try our craft.
I think this is an excellent strategy. Rather than overwintering with a brood box plus 2 half-filled supers you have been able to compress down to brood plus one.
My personal view is not to get too obsessed with packing down, but that removing completely empty boxes is probably a good idea. But when I hear of people removing half full supers of honey in order to reduce the number of boxes, I feel this is over the top (and that the bees may need the stores).
So you've achieved a sensible packdown nicely. We look forward to your spring report!
Meeting Address: Doncaster Secondary College, 123 Church Rd, Doncaster 3108