I have always wondered about the specific configurations in which was the minimum vs the ideal amounts to over winter. After about 4 winters I am still wondering. I have had hives to starve out and I have had hives with plenty of honey to be slow to take off in the spring. And I have had some that was quick to take off early almost starve due to weather. I am finding that I am having better luck overwintering average hives with average stores and bee numbers. I guess what I am saying is that I am becoming aware of my ignorance of what it takes to maintain hives through year to year. Best I can figure it is like a see-saw. Keeping enough bees to take advantage of whats out there and enough stores to keep that amount of bees going. Too many bees you lose. Too few bees you lose. The biggest variable to me is the queen quality and vigor. Am I on the right track here as to what you all are finding?