Re: First deadout of the winter
The way to check in a colony like this is to look at previously used brood cells and see how many of them have mite droppings. If you hold the comb so the sun is coming over your shoulder and the comb is tilted so you can see the upper sides of the cells, that will tell you the most. I have only seen that type problem with bees that had serious tracheal mite problems. The key is the splitting of the cluster. When bees avoid each other in the hive, it is always for a reason.
DarJones - 43 years beekeeper, 10 colonies, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell