VERY lazy inspection, scratch that, OBSERVATION method
I do topbar to spare my back and my wallet, and because I mostly have bees to help the environment. I actually buy clover honey since the local honey my bees make doesn't taste as good to me (not much clover in my area, more tulip trees and mustard). I had not been in my hive since last year due to laziness and some concern they needed recovery time after an apparent robbing situation 3 months ago. Today I prepared sticky board for a mite count. I have screened bottoms with my go to material political signs as a hive cover (layered, with cement pavers holding them down) and draft stopper bottom 'board' an inch or so below the screened bottom.
There are a couple lines of wire midway below the hive to hold the lower political signs in place since 4' is too long to slide one piece in easily, and to stop sagging when I tried that. It never works very easily either pushing it in from the ends of the hive, so as usual I was below the hive maneuvering the sign ends onto the wire holders. Maybe I'd always been too anxious or the hive too grumpy (it was early am and I didn't open the hive at all) but I'd never leisurely looked up into the hive from below lying on my back- maybe I can usually reach under from a bent back position but today I didn't. Also the hive is older and more developed now.
Anyway sure wish I'd brought my camera! The side furthest from the entrance had many curtains of comb (out all 4 feet really) with not much activity (all visible not hidden by bees so maybe being ignored or just honey storage- hope they're at least keeping the wax moths out- but there was no more debris on that side's bottom board than the other) and the half nearest the entrance was very reassuringly alive with bees so thick I didn't see the comb.
I consider my hive inspected (wonder if the bee inspector would agree with me), and will offer this in lieu of a viewing window we were too lazy to build into the hive as we first intended.
[wonder how they'll react and if I'll regret it if I do flash photography of them in 2-3 days when I remove the sticky board]