I do understand 10framer's idea that there should be more brood but since its getting cold(er), I would not expect her to fill out huge amounts of frames of brood either. I wasnt really worried that I only had 3 deep frames of brood. I was more worried about the huge amount of empty space itself. I have enough bees right now to defend it but was worried as they start dying off in numbers, as they starting to do now (just becuase of the life cycle, not bc of any disease or anything), i assume at some point here soon there wont be enough bees to cover all the frames of the deep. The queen is still hanging out down there and they havent gone into cluster yet at the bottom of the first medium.
iddee had also mentioned that 1.5 mediums by itself was enough to survive winter here in atlanta. I didnt want to take off too much as I just need to make it though at least one winter to be able to learn what happens during winter (last november they absconded leaving a full deep and 2 mediums). If 1.5 mediums is enough to go through winter then 3 should be way more than enough and allows them the space to not be overcrowded so I am still thinking that having the empty deep = way too much undefendable space. But as others have suggested here, that is something that I apparently dont need to worry about. And, I really cant remove it as long as she is raising brood down there.
Again, appreciate all the help. Just trying to get through the winter but at least I have now officially passed the date where they left last year (November 1st). Yea.