One of my top bar hives was looking a little light on activity today. Upon checking I found an ok population but no brood and five or six queen cells in the middle of the hive. There are a few capped drone cells and a few open larva in the entire hive. I *think* they have enough capped honey/nectar to make it through the winter. I last checked July 27th and there was lots of worker and drone brood.

So my questions - any clues to what happened? Did I miss a swarm sign? Or did the queen just die? She had a rough start earlier this year - are they just done with her? I’m wondering if there is something I missed that I could learn from.

Part two - seeing that it’s early September, is there something I should do while the new queen is in process?

Thank you!