James Landreth wrote:Did you open the hive when you checked on them? If so, that could have been it. It lets all the heat, humidity, and pheromones out. Bees balance the environment of their inner hive very carefully. Even though it was warm it's likely that they wouldn't have been able to restore their environment before nightfall and the resulting temperature drop. It also could have been something else entirely. I'm not blaming you if it was opening the hive that did it. Lots of people are taught to go into their hives; it's an unfortunate part of mainstream beekeeping
Mike Barkley wrote:How many of those 4 boxes were bees & how many were honey right before winter? I always remove empty boxes. They provide room for pests & are harder for the bees to keep warm due to the extra volume. Keep in mind that the queen lays fewer eggs in winter so the overall population will decrease.
Do you have a barn? Some people in colder climates move them to a barn before winter. I'm not that keen on moving bees but if it keeps them alive ...
George Bastion wrote:Did you do an autopsy of the deadout? What did it look like in there? Were the bees just gone or was there a big pile of dead ones at the bottom of the box? Was there the remnants of a cluster on the frames, in the middle of the hive? Was there still honey in the box? Any visible signs of disease? Visible signs of robbing (honey cells messily chewed up and ragged looking comb, with wax remnants at the entrance and on the bottom board)?
It's possible they froze, but a lot of other stuff could have happened to. I've read successful accounts of people overwintering single deeps in Minnesota, so it may not be an issue of cold.
Michael Cox wrote:There are many possible causes for a deadout. You need to do a frame by frame inspection.
If you want to take photos of each side of each frame through the brood nest and post them here, then we can probably help. Also, what is you climate like? You mention wrapping, but in many climates that is unnecessary and can potentially cause condensation issues.
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