Today I went into the hive with my upstairs neighbor. We inspected the bottom brood chamber because, last week, I did not inspect this chamber.
The big difference in this chamber and the top one is the bottom one lacks honey and has an excess of free space. In the top deep chamber, the outer 1-2 frames are full of honey. The inner ones each have the same pattern: the center part of the frame contains empty cells and brood and the outer contains honey (some capped, some uncapped).
I find it interesting that in the bottom chamber, the brood pattern is not continuous and the frames are not symmetrical. We found only 1 frame that was completely full of brood—and it was not in the center. See the outer-facing frame 3. Then on the other side of it, the frame has only small portion of capped brood.
The left side of frame 7 is a little wavy. I think the bees built across from frame 7 to 8 because there was too much space between the two. To correct this I could scrape off the excess comb on the frame, scrape off the propolis between the frames and then push them together. I will probably do this before long.
Someone today asked if my hive was honey bound. I looked this up. Honey bound conditions are present when every space is used for honey/syrup. You will see spotty brood pattern (because there is no continuous empty space) and syrup every where (not just on the perimeter). Here is a good photo of a honey bound brood chamber.
My hive is definitely not honey bound, as the bottom brood area is very empty and the top one has a continuous, not spotty brood pattern.
My concern at this point remains: will the bees have enough honey for overwintering? Because there is still time left and the top chambers have a lot of honey, I think they do have enough. Also, I think the bottom brood nest is a little strangely organized. Its somewhat off center (more brood on the left) and the frames are not very symmetric. I am not too concerned because I think the bees know what they are doing.
One thing I learned from this inspection is that the chambers do not necessarily all look the same. In my last post, I mentioned that the bottom chamber may likely contain the same amount of honey as the top brood chamber. This was definitely not the case!