I was finally able to check my one hive at Bernheim today, after we witnessed a release of a Golden Eagle from rehab. (beautiful and touching sight)
The hive was dead due to "starvation." Adjoining the dead cluster, on either side, was 2 frames of honey. It appears the cluster would not move away from what tiny bit of brood was there. So they sacrificed themselves to try and save the brood. So they starved but they didn't have to because honey was available right next door. You all are so witty and intelligent.....is there a term we can come up with when this happens other than starvation? It sounds like I neglected them. Did I? And if I had fed them fondant or dry sugar, would it really have made a difference?
PS: When lifting the brood chamber to clean out the dead bees there felt like there was a good 35 pounds still in there.
Thanks for any input.