Yesterday I went out to inspect the hives. Two were very strong, these were Italian's I started from packages in April and have just about filled their third honey supper. My third hive which is Carniolan started from a nuc I purchased the first of June is concerning me. I did my last inspection on August 28th however I only inspected the top brood box. It was being filled with honey and was about 70% full. I didn't see the queen however, but I did see brood, and larva in the top brood box. So I left the bottom alone not wanting to disturb the rest of the hive. It has only the two brood boxes and no honey suppers.
Now after inspecting the bottom brood box yesterday I am not sure what is going on. The top was very heavy and full of honey and considerable burr comb bracing between the frames, so I set it aside and began inspecting the bottom box. It had about 20% pollen, 10% honey, 5% capped brood, and no larva was found. The balance was empty, mostly drawn cells. I did witness a bee chewing it's way out of the capped cells, so the queen had to be around less than 21 days ago.
Now if you do the math from the time I inspected the hive on the 28th of August until the 23rd of September I couldn't have killed the queen during the inspection. So do I tear apart the packed top brood box and search for the queen or should I leave well enough alone and just feed the bees to try and get them to fill the bottom before winter?
Is this the nature of the Carniolan's to fill the top box and leave the bottom empty?