As in deceased! I'm really "bummed out! Now I need too ask some opinion questions and didn't keep good enough notes to give adequate info for a good forensics answer. We had a long cold spell in Dec. and Jan. with lows rarely out of single digits. Until the last few weeks the lows were mostly in the teens to mid twenties. In early Feb. when sharply bumping the hive I got a very welcome, loud buzzing. I was feeling pretty good. Around March 5th. I placed sugar water on top, when I only got a feeble buzz. At this time I removed the mouse guard, and found the entrance mostly blocked by dead bees. I only had the top off long enough to place the feed not wanting to expose them to cold longer than necessary, then rewrapped with tar paper.
Fast forward three weeks, I work out of town for 7 days and during this time the daytime highs have rapidly climbed into the upper 50's to low 60's. Today, my first day off, I removed the tar paper wrap fearing that things would be getting too hot. What I found was a holocaust, All were dead!! There seem to be adequate honey stores left, so I don't think I was too late with the sugar water supplement! I have a small slot cut for top ventilation and live in a very arid area, so I don't think we got a high moisture situation causing them to freeze but, your thoughts. The dead bees were all moist, soft and not dry and hard. Could this an indication that the hive humidity was way too high? Having left the tar paper on with these temperatures, could I have cooked my bees? I saw no obvious signs mites or beetles. Any thoughts, questions, comments, advice etc. would be appreciated. - Really Badly Bummed Out !!!! - memtb