Better news...while we were out there, we inspected inside the hive and found many good things. The picture below shows the nursery...with shiny white larvae and tiny white eggs and brown capped brood. Plus nurse bees attending the babies. The eggs and larvae indicate that the queen is alive and well....but there was also a brief queen spotting. She ducked down in the hive before we could take her picture, but she is definitely in there!
More good news...the bees have lots of stored pollen (the bright yellow patches, below) and honey. The honey on this picture is the dark brown to the right.
This is the top of the assistant bee keeper's head, and a whole frame of honey.