Last week I checked on the dry sugar in one of my hives (carniolans on small cell....this hive was the recipient of a combine last fall and it had LOTS of bees). When checking, I noticed a lot of bees working the sugar and lots more in between the frames as far down as I could see.
Today, they're all dead. I tore the hive down and found about 35 pounds of honey, still capped but there were bees everywhere. Pockets of bees here and there. No heads in the cells to speak of, just mini clusters that seem to have frozen in place.
To me, it looks like we got a warm day last week soon after I checked them. They split up the cluster and headed for food. Then, we got some single degree temp days and maybe they just didn't cluster up again.
I say no K wings, no brood and didn't look hard for the queen. There was a good, solid inch of bees on the bottom board...unlike when they cold starve and all get stuck in the cells. No brown staining. No piles of dead bees out front.
Any thoughts of did they just get unlucky?