Re: Accidental beekeeper in Los Angeles!
Well done sounds like you are off to a good start.
How often should you check? You will get answers ranging from "leave the bees alone to do their own thing", to "keep a close eye on them they may swarm soon".
My opinion for beginners, you learn by doing, so do. As often as you like. One qualifier, do not kill the queen. It's amazing how often new beekeepers will accidentally kill queens, I know this because I sell queens to these folks. So when working in the brood area, a less experienced beekeeper should start by taking out, very gently, the outside comb, and lean it on the outside of the hive. This makes room so that other frames can be spread apart widely, before taking one out, so there is no way bees can get rolled while pulling the comb, or risk of killing the queen. Other than that, don't allow robbing to start, and those are the two main basics.
A comment on adding the foundationless super. Bees start building combs from the top. If you add a foundationless super, there is a big empty gap between the bee cluster, and the top of the next box. Result, it is majorly difficult for the bees to get a cluster up there & start comb building, they may even swarm before venturing to the new super. What they need is a bridge. That is, 2 or 3 fully built combs in the new super, that are built right down as far as the bee cluster. The bees will take to these combs, and work their way up to the top of the super & then start building new combs. Start by having the bridge combs in the centre of the new super, then after enough time has passed for the bees to be established on these combs and working on them, you can start spreading the combs putting empty frames between, one at a time at first, to encourage the bees to build new comb.
You will eventually get a "feel" for your bees, and not need to refer to advice such as I have just given, you will look at the hive & just know what they need, and be able to do it based on your own experience.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).