Second Brood Box Not being Filled

After my bees had filled 80% of their frames in the first brood box, I added a second brood box for overwintering preparation purposes since I live in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, they have managed to fill the first box but continue to build honeycomb on top of the frames between the two brood boxes. They are but working their way up and building comb in the second brood box. Should I take a brood frame from their first box to help inspire them to move upwards. I am worried about manipulating their current arrangements and causing them stress but I would like them to build up to get heir population size up. Should I be concerned? I am also using foundation less frames with a starter strip which worked for them to fill t he first box but I just don’t understand why they are not building up. I have been removing the honey comb on the top of the first brood box frames and treating it as burr and brace comb because it just causes the first and second box to be stuck together between inspections. Any help would be appreciated

Yes - you can “checkerboard” the frames which will not only encourage them to come up but also to build straight combs.

So take brood frames from first box and move them up to second box.

Leave empty frames between full frames in first and second boxes?

Yes - don’t have to do all the frames, just something to give them the idea and a guide to build the neighboring frames.

Awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

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And you should feed them - they probably won’t do much otherwise this time of the year, in your location.

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Put a couple frames of brood in the top brood box checkerboard style and I am feeding 1:1 sugar syrup. Thanks for all your help!