Lots of bees, no brood, less stores than last time
I just inspected my hive thinking that I would put on mouse guard and get them all sealed up for the winter. I last inspected in early September and saw a medium and a deep full of honey on top of a deep that was brood and pollen. I was confused yesterday when I inspected because I found that the majority of the honey was gone in the top medium and top deep, and could find no signs of brood (did not see the queen). Despite these findings my bees were not gentler than usual (not running over frames, head butting, etc) and the hive was full of them (9 frames full of bees in each of the two deeps and 6 frames of bees in top medium). I did not see any drones in the hive and didn't see much foraging activity because the fall flow has largely concluded here. It did not really seem like there was aching wrong with the hive (no signs of cappings being ripped open by robbers, no signs of disease, healthy population) except that there was probably 40% of the honey that the hive had when I checked in early September and I saw no evidence of a laying queen.
The last time I saw my queen and brood was in late August (when I checked in September I was mostly just checking to see how their stores were heading into winter so I didn't go into the brood box). To deal with the lack of honey I put on 2 gallons of 2:1 syrup. Is it normal for queens to stop laying this early? Temps have been mid 40s (nights) to high 70s. In the low 50s today. Would it be too late to re-queen if the hive is queen less? Thanks!
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