It has been eight days since we installed the bees in their top bar hives. Today was finally sunny and warm, so Madeline and I opened the hives to to make sure that there is brood in the drawn comb, which indicates that the hive has a laying queen. Without a queen, the worker bees will die off without being replaced.
Both hives had at least four fairly large combs on bars, and after a lot of searching, we found what we were looking for — single tiny white eggs at the bottom of empty cells. We restocked the sugar water feeders and replaced the styrofoam floats with wood blocks, then closed up the hives. We’ll check again in one week to make sure there is more brood, refill the feeders, and open up more beespace in the hive. There is a follower board that keeps the usable hive area small so that there is less space that the bees need to keep heated, since nights are still kind of chilly.