Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?
Mine cluster in the entrance at night as well, especially when it is windy or a storm is on the horizon. I think it's a defensive measure to try and seal up the hive. I wouldn't worry about that. I suppose if it got really cold, the ones on the outside of that barricade could have died and fell to the ground. You're seeing 40-50 dead bees on the ground. Don't forget you should have 6000+ in the colony. Not a big deal there. As long as you still have a laying queen, and the bees are still flying when they can, I wouldn't worry. The bees will bounce back from it no problem. After all, if you installed your package 1.5 months ago, for all you know those bees on the ground outside could have just died of old age.
No sweat man, just keep an eye on the queen and make sure she is still laying. Everything else will fall in line behind her.
One package to 4 hives in 3 months. After 12 months I'm over a dozen hives and growing. Head over heels for bees!!!