For several years, I have used a winter hive set-up that is becoming popular in some parts of the UK. It is called "Under Supering". In my area, the winters are mild and damp. We do not have long periods of daytime frost or heavy lying snow. The usual winter start is a hive of a brood box and a super of stores. The hive is set-up with the super on the floor, then the brood box and finally the inner cover and roof. There is no excluder. I like to tilt my hives forward in winter. I like to think that the cold, dense, damp air can flow out of the entrance. The solid floors seem to keep drier. As spring starts, an excluder goes between the super and brood. At the later, first examination of the hive, the brood goes on the floor. Then comes excluder, super etc. At the first examination, the super is usually empty and the queen in the brood box. If she is in the super (never happened for me) then she is moved back into the brood box. A further (relevant ?) point ---- the bees are local bred, survivor mutts. This post is for information. The winter climates are so variable, so must be the set-ups. Other members may wish to post their set-ups. Hopefully the sharing of information may help to improve the winter survival rates.