I went to my hives the other day and found 3 of 8 gone. I brought them in to extract the honey and on inspection I found: Two of the hives had brood emerging and all the other bees huddled the brood. The brood was well formed and most had emerged. Many of the cells you could see the tails as they were deeply embedded the cells. December had unseasonable low temps. I figure all the brood was not done emerging and they got did not leave the brood to move to the honey. These two hives were the strongest of the bunch going into winter. I guess they should have stopped laying sooner? both hives were packed with bees.
The 3rd hive I am not sure of the cause. There did not seem to be any real cause that I could see. There were not as many bees in that hive. I did find a lot of powder or chewed up comb all over. The hive did not do well all summer and I suspect mites got the best of them? Either that or I had too much venting. I noticed the two 1mm. thick sticks I used to prop open the top in the summer were still there which made a slight hole around most of the top. I did insulate the outside. I had SBB and a 1 inch hole in the front for normal vent. I think the added vent in the top did not do them any favors. There were a lot of tails sicking out of the comb but I did not find any emerging brood?
Did I forget to check for something?
I am just a beginner.