It is late enough that I think I can make it official....my hive has survived the winter. I went into the hive Thursday (day before yesterday) to work the hive and stir things up a bit. I switched everything over to new woodenware, swapped the two deep brood boxes, and sandwiched a medium full of new PF120's for them to draw out. I also swapped some of the "inner frames" and "outer frames", mindful of the Housel (sp?) positioning.
Sometime over the winter I saw a small bit of debris at the entrance and suspected a mouse. Shining a light into the hive, I saw no evidence of mice. They were there, nonetheless. I found a nest in a frame in the lower box. Fortunately, it was a frame of plain foundation rather than drawn comb/honey. I wound up replacing 3 frames with PF100's.
I had 'mountain camped' some sugar on the top of the frames of the top box during the winter. Most of that wound up on the bottom board and, I suspect, the rest got shoved out the entrance. There was still a good bit of honey including 2 or 3 frames full of honey only.
I gave them two pint jars of 1:1 to help them in drawing out the new foundation and will replenish that today.
There was a very good population of bees. Good brood patterns in various stages. I did not see the queen. Not surprising, as I have never seen my queen. There was a healthy amount of drone brood, including in burr comb, as I expected for this time of year.
I plan to check on them at least a couple more times over the next week and replenish the 1:1. Then, back to AL. I'll return here (to TN) in a few weeks and open them up again to check progress and will likely split the hive at that time, especially if I find QC's.
I did take some video and hope to upload that soon.
Sorry for the length....just had to "brag" on my "survivors".