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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a follow up to my dead hive post from a couple weeks ago. I went in my hive yesterday on a 60 plus degree day, and confirmed my fears. Dead Hive. I took some pics of what I found and posted them here.

The bottom box was nearly depleted of honey stores. A little left on the outsides The upper brood box was nearly full of honey. It was never full in the fall, the outside frames were not combed yet, but there is at least 6 or 7 full frames of honey capped.

There was water on the top bar indicating was condensation dripping off the bottom of the candy board, and the bees drowned in the moisture. My other hive had the same identical candy board and the bees have eaten 3/4 of it. Most of the bees were just dead on the bottom of the hive.

I am no expert, but I didn't see anything indicating a foul brood. No foul smell, or dead carcasses in the brood. A few left unhatched but the pictures don't show much.

I will post some more pics of the bottom chamber since this won't let me post more than this.

Plan for this hive and two new ones
If there is no reason for the death of this hive other than condensation my hope was to add a new package to this hive in April. I am starting two new hives as well, and thought it would be good to give these new hives a few frames of comb and the honey. What do you recommend?

my second hive appears healthy and I added some blocks of sugar in the candy board area, and a feeder on the entrance to prevent starvation here in Michigan before the spring in about a month.

see my part two post for additional pics.

any help or advice is appreciated.


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Can you tell us more about the kind of ventilation setup you had for this hive during the winter? I'm assuming you had a regular solid bottom board.
I'm also wondering about the almost total lack of propolis seal between the boxes. Did the bees have a chance to seal the boxes together before winter set in? If not, and you didn't wrap the hive sides, then maybe the winds were able to get in right between the brood boxes where the cluster was? Just idle thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the hive had an entrance reducer with the middle size opening (not very large), and the 5/8 inch hole in the candy board on the top. The candy board on top may have been a leak point since it had a queen excluder to hold the sugar up. this joint isn't sealed very well, but I did put some tape on this joint to seal any leaks.
 
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