I am going into my first winter as a bee keeper and I guess it is time to ask the traditional first winter question. How many dead bees should i see outside my hive in the middle of winter?
I am up in BC and we are having one cold December (-30 some nights). I bungee corded some hard styrofoam insulation around the hive, have it out of the wind and left it with a full 9 or 10 frames of honey. Over the last two weeks of cold weather I have seen hundreds of bees dead on the snow in front of the hive. When i sit and watch for a while i have seen the odd bee fly out, struggle in the snow and die.
I understand that there should be a die off of bees through out the winter I am wondering if numbers like these are in the realm of possibility or if it is time to put my order in for some new bees this spring!
Any comments would be appreciated!
PS the hive was treated with both menthol and apistan earlier in the fall