This was the first deep inspection we've done in several months. Here are some photos.
The first one shows the first bad news we saw from Hive#1. This is one of the center frames from the upper deep. This time of year, this frame should be filled with capped honey, which will be used late in the winter or early spring as the cluster moves up in the hive. If the frames are empty now, they will starve later this winter. To keep them from starving we will try to feed them as much as they will take until the temps get too cold to feed.
This next photo shows what we saw deeper in the hive. This brood area is showing two partially emerged bees, that were sadly found dead during our inspection. This is more bad news.
This last picture from Hive #1 shows the new queen. We haven't seen the queen of this hive since late spring when we had the swarming troubles. This confirms that we did loose our original queen, and this is the one that superseded. Our tentative plan is to replace her in the early spring, if this hive survives then winter.
Now on to Hive #2, where things looked a bit more normal and a bit more encouraging:
This is one of the frames fully packed with capped honey in Hive #2. they seemed to have an excellent supply of reserves.
This is the original queen from Hive #2. She remains in charge of the hive and has the original markings (yellow dot) that helps identify her.