I have two healthy top bar hives that are just over a year old. They both filled the box with combs this year and I only harvested a couple since it was their first year. Now, going into winter (such as it is here in southern California) they have several full combs of honey but also three or four empty combs at the back of the hive. Should I remove these bars of empty drawn comb in order to reduce the space they’ll need to keep warm over winter? Or leave them at back of the hive for use in Spring?
Somehow this never got a reply! Given that winter is over, hopefully whatever you did worked out okay and your bees survived!
In my experience, leaving them doesn’t really seem to hurt. You can also put them on the other side of the divider if you do want to consolidate the hive a bit. The bees really only keep the space they are occupying warm. Only a few inches away from the cluster will remain the ambient temperature.