Hive A is a little embarrassing. It got too tall. I over wintered it with a National deep box and five supers. There were reasons, of course. Now has come the time to reduce it to a sensible height.
A little about those reasons first.
I took out the queen excluder. The idea was to allow the bees more freedom within the hive. I was trusting them. They did the most sensible thing: moved the brood nest to the top of the hive where the temperature was most suitable. Every time I put a super on they moved upward. It's now so remote taht I'm not even sure whether the deep box is in use.
I should have reduced the height last summer but the hive is in a suburban garden where the gardens are used a lot during the weekends. I did open up enough to inspect for brood and disease, but I never managed to reconfigure things to move the brood and the queen down. I'm not sure that I cared very much about the height. I just trusted the bees to do their thing.
This season has to be different.
I was given a lovely Canadian clearer board. It works! I have already recovered a super which was over half full of honey (see Wonky comb. I've put it back on to get another full super. That's definitely an upside.