Overall thoughts: Lately the hive has shown a lot of foraging activity which I can see from the deck. Like almost as much as in the spring during the nectar flow. This led me to try and super up one last time as [probably a feeble] attempt at harvesting some honey this year… so when we were done, I stuck the super box back on instead of adding more sugar syrup. I hope this isn’t a mistake and they don’t just keep chewing on my wax foundations.
The box that had been on top (the teal one) was looking really good. Good honey and pollen storage, brood in all stages, all frames in good use and covered in bees. Didn’t see the queen but there were plenty of eggs. After looking at that box I got kind of excited because I thought it would mean the same or better for the bottom box since queens usually prefer to lay down there. But by frame 4 I was really starting to be concerned. The first frame on the side facing me had maybe 15 cells of brown ugly pollen and was otherwise completely empty. Even more frames had up to 50% empty cells, not being used for anything, and fewer bees than I would have expected. Maybe this had to do partly with the fact that I inspected the top box, then took the hive all apart and reassembled it with the white box on top, and the bees had moved down by the time I inspected it (now on top)? And not to mention all the foragers that weren’t home at the time of inspection? But I can’t explain why there would be so little brood in the bottom box besides a bit of capped pupae.