Well, I found my 2nd deadout (of 8 hives today). I hate to ask about something that may be rudimentary, but diagnosing deadouts is a subject of stress for me. Dead Hive #1: lots of capped honey still, no dead cluster found clinging to the frames whatsoever, maybe a couple of cups of bees found on the bottom board, certainly not enough to cover the BB. I know this hive was alive a month ago, but I have no idea what the population looked like at that time. Dead Hive #2: lots of capped honey as well, dead cluster about the size of a softball clinging to two frames. Maybe 1/3 of the bees had heads in cells, the rest were on top of and surrounding them. Not sure if that is tell-tale starving, or if that's just a snapshot of what a cluster might look like at any given time (only smaller). I noticed several dead SHB fall out of a frame when I picked it up. Also, there was some mold starting on a few frames and on the dead bees. I found several frames full of uncapped nectar. So... I'm not too sure about Dead Hive #1. Dead Hive #2 I'm guessing was weakened by SHB, and just had a dwindling cluster. I also wonder why they had so much uncapped nectar in the center of the hive, and assume that moisture was not helping things either. Perhaps I fed them 2:1 too late in the fall, and they couldn't reduce it down and cap it in time? I'm just "thinking out loud" as it were about what might have happened. Thanks for any thoughts or ideas about a diagnosis; I often feel like I'm grasping at straws with this stuff, and I want to make a learning experience out of every loss. -Dan ps- what should I do about storing the frames with mold starting to grow already? Should I just shake out all that uncapped liquid and set them out in the sun? I've still just got both of these hives out in the beeyard (with entrances closed to prevent robbing).