I'm in Northern CA and new to beekeeping. I installed a NUC in May. In the fall, I had a very strong hive. I noticed their stores were getting low, so I started feeding them sugar syrup again. (I stopped during summer because they quit taking it with all the blackberries in bloom) Then I began reading here that you should not feed syrup when it gets cold, and switch to either candy or pollen patties. (and brood patties in Jan/Feb) While I ordered the brood patties, I also bought some winter patties from Dadant - since it only changed the shipping by $5.

I opened up the hive on a warm afternoon to give them the winter patty and I was shocked at how few bees there are in the hive. We are in the low 40's at night/60's in the daytime and January/February are our coldest months. I saw the queen, but I'm worried they are not going to make it once it gets really cold. I have no idea what I did wrong. Is there anything I can do now?