It seems that our chalkbrood problem is mostly behind us. I've only seen two or three "mummies" over the last couple days, in contrast to the dozens and dozens of them I was seeing previously.
One thing chalkbrood does tell us is that the queen has obviously been laying eggs since we installed the colony: no eggs--no larva, no larva--no chalkbrood. So at least we know she's functioning. Unfortunately it doesn't tell us much about her health or the robustness of here lineage. Some beekeepers re-queen when they find chalkbrood, but I'm not convinced this is a good strategy from my reading.
The bees continue to consume sugar syrup at a steady pace, about a quart every 3 or 4 days.
I've been talking to the kind folks over at the Chicago Honey Co-Op, and they have offered to let me volunteer when they work in the apiary. This will be a great opportunity to learn from the experts, and to see what healthy, productive, well-established hives are supposed to look like. Right now, our little hive is the only one I've seen up close, and when we open the hive and inspect the frames, I don't yet have a good sense of what to look for as indicators of health--or distress.
Storms are on tap for today. Take cover, little bees!