She said bees had been living in this box off and on for at least a year and had cast off multiple swarms. As it happened, there was also a small swarm in her backyard today on a stalk of bamboo. It was not clear whether the swarm was from the hive or not, but it seemed safe to assume that it was.
Inside the electrical box there was lots of well formed comb, but the thing which caught my eye was the large number of queen cells. That was evidence that this hive likes to raise new queens and send out swarms.
There was plenty of brood but what seemed strange was that all the brood seemed to be at the same stage. Usually a hive will have young from the egg stage through the newly-emerging-as-adult stage, but this hive seemed to only have the newly-emerging-as-adult brood.
My guess is that it’s because the old queen swarmed and the new queen didn’t start laying yet, so there is a break in the brood cycle. The only problem is, if for some reason the new queen died during the cut-out rescue, that makes the hive’s ability to survive almost zero.
Time will tell.