Is bigger always better? Could there be benefit in deliberately limiting hive population going into wintering! Apparently some strains of bees are more prone to building huge numbers as long as there is food in the hive even if nothing is coming in. I am thinking that a hive jam packed with soon to die foragers might not have the best conditions to do the fall brood rearing necessary for winter bees that will have the much longer potential life span. High overall population will also draw down stores quicker. As well as (or instead of) limiting overall numbers, could the demographics be skewed to some advantage?