This has been one of the strangest Winters in quite awhile.
We've had temps in the low 50's numerous times so far and the bees have been bringing in a pale yellow pollen.
Was checking out the three colonies my friend has and saw that one of the "stronger" colonies has finally died.
There were many dead bees on the comb and looks like they either starved or froze to death in place.
Recently he and I were doing an inspection on a warm day and we saw a few hundred bees and the queen in that hive along with plenty of honey stores left. Didn't look good at that point.
What was the "weakest" colony going into Winter is now booming! Still trying to figure that one out.
It has two deeps and a medium with lots of honey and they had eaten most of the sugar we placed on the inner cover.
Btw, that sugar did a great job absorbing moisture.
Earlier this Winter we removed a medium super from it that didn't have much honey stores.
But after seeing how full the hive is, I pulled a medium super full of honey off the dead hive and placed it on the "weak" hive.
Now they'll have a little more elbow room and more stores to chew on.
The third colony is still alive but the population is down. Not sure if that one will make it till Spring.
He is planning to split the "weak" hive at least once and maybe twice if things continue looking good.