If you are new to beekeeping and don't have any experience with winter population how do you no if you have a weak hive or just normal population going into the winter?
I'm sure this is like trying to get grandma to describe what a pinch, a dash and a dallop are.
But if the weather is fair and the bees are flying there should be bees throughout two deep boxes at least, if you have a good population. The colder the weather the more concentrated the bees get. I don't count frames that have 10 bees or so, but the ones that are pretty much covered. In cool weather they should completely fill most of 8 frames when they are pretty much clustered.