The regional bee inspector, David Rudland, pointed out during a recent visit that I had a super box where a brood box should be, and vice-versa. D'oh!
What I hadn't realised was that the spacing of frames in brood boxes and supers is different. To encourage bees to produce and store more honey, frames in supers are further apart - and muggins here had them all jumbled up.
So I swapped the boxes around. What was the topmost super is now the half-brood (above the main brood box), what was the super formerly used as a half-brood is now the first super (on top of the brood-and-a-half), and what was the first super on top of the brood-and-a-half is now the topmost super.
Since I was moving a super-used-as-brood, I wanted to be sure that the Queen was not on or in the box when I moved it, or she would end up in the wrong place. Naturally, I couldn't find her, despite peering in every nook and cranny.
More next week when I return to insert crown boards and bee escapes so I can take off my first ever honey. I'll soon find out if the Queen is in the wrong place!