I like the pollen stores....
I have to take this back to what I see in my own hives, from what I see in dianostic pics like MP above, and what I read from colleges and researchers.
Lack of brood doesn't have to reflect exclusively on bad queens or lack of a flow. When the colony has a disease situation, its not uncommon to see a brood production slow down or even cease. I think this is an act of preservation, to avoid spreading disease. And when this is combined with continued foraging (the excess pollen stores) it makes some sense that the bees are bringing in nutrition via pollen (what else improves your immune system better?). So when the nutrition improves and the brood emerges healthier, then the colony should come around. This is a catch-22 with just how late in the season it might be however. Too late, there will not be enough time for enought brood cycles for this to be effective in turning the hive around. This also presumes that general health isn't already so far south that it is merely spiralling into collapse.
I guess my questions become (and I know this isn't an answer I expect from the crowd) but when does the disease become recognized by the bees and start to shut down brood rearing, and just how likely is recovery (and that may depend on a lot of our uncontrolable factors like nectar/pollen flows, weather, and trace genetics). I have also read that many viruses are highly contigeous, that can make one wonder just how long they can continue to be passed around a hive. And what makes some totally collapse and others linger and just serve as a cess pool for disease.
It is all a very interesting balancing act.
Thanks for the pictures, I've been a bit tired of hearing from others "My dead hives starved to death because the bees tongues were out".
There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.