Re: dead bees in front of entrance
I'm not sure how many (if any) of the bees I rescued made it back to the hive. Most of them just flew up and off in random directions, like they were still foraging. One of them flew up about 30 feet in the air (towards the hive) then dropped like a stone. I found her 7 inches into the snow, completely dead (warming her up again didn't help).
As has been pointed out, this has been happening for as long as there have been bees. It's probably not something to worry about, provided your hive was strong going into winter. Still, it's unnerving to see all those dead bees! I imagine this will be easier to stomach next year.
Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.