Nice and warm today and really cold air forcast next week or two so I figured I'd add candy as needed. I started this year with 17 colonies, some full size and some nucs. To date I've lost 5 colonies. Today I lost my first nuc and also two full sized hives. One of the full sized hives was last years best honey producer. I was able to find the dead queens in all 3 of todays dead-outs. Clusters were really small, lots of capped honey and open nectar, and lots of bees stuck head first in their cells. Does anyone have a tip for getting those bees out of those cells without destroying the comb? Can I just leave them for scavengers or next seasons occupants to clean out? Also, all that honey. I sealed the hive entrances for now but should I just let them get robbed out so the remaining 12 hives can benefit? Ten of the remaining hives are really strong while two others are mediocore (sp). I didn't treat with formic or thymol products this year because I needed to satisfy my curiosity about the the whole "mite" thing. The wife was a little upset but I assured her they might have died even if we did treat. Just look at the 10 really strong hives. If the mites were a guaranteed death sentence I would think the others would have perished as well. These hives are actually stronger this year than the three I had treated with formic last year. She wants me to treat from here on out but I'll save that for a different thread. I'm hoping the 10 really strong colonies make it and then I'll make splits from those. I have another cut-out sor the Spring and a trip to Georgia where I've secured 2 Russian nucs.