I checked my hives this weekend and one of two is dead. Inspection revealed ample pollen stores, some frames of honey, very very few capped brood (dead apparently), some few brood that was partially eaten for exiting and I could see the young bee inside, dead. Almost no adults maybe 5 or 6 total. The amount of honey left was likely not enough to make the winter, but certainly enough where they did not starve to death. No sign of wax moths anywhere, no sign of hive beatles. The big question is what happened. I thought maybe freeze to death but then I figured there should be more than a few bees around. My only thought at this time is they left. A month and a half ago when I looked they were fine, not booming and massive numbers but a good amount of bees with OK stores. Any thoughts as to what I should look at for more clues? Or ideas what may have happened?

My second hive looked good. I popped the top off and saw a good amount of bees. I removed the top medium and more bees were under this. I didnt poke around and remove frames or go below 3rd medium. I saw a good amount of bees and closed it back up. The reason I mention this hive is I did not see any guard bees at the landing board. Matter of fact, I saw a yellow jacket enter unchallenged. I put entrance reducer on the smallest amount and left. They had actually built a small amount of comb in the last month. I was amazed.

Next day I returned to mass robbing of the empty hive and the second hive with so much activity it looked like a huge flow was on. Bees were tripping over each other coming and going. bees all over the landing board and flying everywhere. I really do not know if it was being robbed or was doing the robbing next door. I suspect it was robbing as the color of bee matched fairly well. My hive is dark black and the bees robbing were dark black. Just so much activity it worried me.

I took the empty hive into the house, after shaking a large number of bees out of it. I was going to add the honey to the other hive but am somewhat nervous in case they are diseased.

I did see something curious. My bees are dark and look Carnolian-ish. But a few bees were REALLY dark with no hint of yellow. German black bees?? Ill look this week and try and get some jpegs if I see them again. I did think this hive is hotter than the other. It had a new queen this summer and the color of the bees changed to dark and the hive got hotter. Not HOT, but hotter also much more productive.

So questions.

1) Ideas on why my hive died
2) Should I do a complete inspection of 2nd hive, down to each medium?
3) OK to add frames of honey to 2nd hive

I know its early to lose a hive so I really need to be careful and do not want to lose the second. Thanks.