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Well, today was finally warm and sunny, so I took a peek in the hives. Not much fun. The one I thought was dead, was indeed. But now I want to figure out what happened.

The (dead) bees were all in a cluster in the 2nd deep from the bottom, spanning about 5 frames. Most of the bees were on top of the comb and covered with mold. (If it hasn't been snowing here, it's been raining, and this is my first chance to get in here.) Th odd thing is that the cluster was on one end of the frames, and the other half of the frame was full of honey. The honey looked to be mostly crystallized, though.


Some of the bees had their heads in the cells. In one area I saw what could have been brood. (?) Impossible to tell what was under the mold.


The supers above had some honey, widely scattered and probably crystallized. There were a few streaks of poop inside the hive, but not a lot. The bottom hive body was completely empty, and one frame had an open queen cell in the middle of the frame.

The last time this hive showed activity was on a sunny but cold day, when they were flying out and taking headers into the snow.

Can anyone give me any ideas as to what likely happened here?
 

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We had some hives die off and we saw that some bees had their heads in the cells. We are pretty sure they died of starvation and the unusual cold we had here.

But maybe some of the old timers would know better than me.

Either way, I'm sorry you lost this hive.
 

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This will only be a guess, others may well have a better idea.
Looking at the photos it simply looks like the cluster got caught away from the capped honey. If that is indeed brood in that second photo and it got real cold, they probably wouldn't abandon the brood to shift over to the stores.
Sad to see but it happens.
 

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I'm so sorry Hobie! I wish I could say something more that would be helpful to you, but right now I'm just feeling awful for ya.
 

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a very small cluster unable to span over to the feed and the weather (cold) stuck them there until they expired (in the words of my great aunt T they just slipped away).
 
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