My hubby and I started beekeeping last spring with a new 10 frame hive. The bees and their queen seemed to adjust well and started building out the frames with honey and brood just as expected. They seemed happy with no signs of any disease or pest until afer the first frost this fall. We hadn't checked them for a couple weeks and the next time we checked them, the bees were gone. There were some dead bees ob the ground beneath the hive. There were several dead bees attached to the comb.
They had large honey stores and we were going to be supplementing with bee food as well, but it hadn't gotten cold yet and we hadn't taken any of their honey.
Another thing to note: we had two empty boxes (with frames with some wax but no honey) above the two built out supers. Would this have caused the hive to be too cold?
Why would a hive leave/disappear during the fall?
Also, if we start again next fall, should we remove all the wax/honey when we add in the new hive or should we strip all that down to the frame?
Thanks a bunch!!