well today was the first day I went in. We hit 50 above finally. thats a 70 degree increase in less than 48 hours!
I went into the weak hive first. it looks like they never moved from their original cluster and died right there.
strong hive did somewhat better. They did still die but the best I can tell they starved to death. They started strong both hives started at the front of the hive. This hive worked its way to the rear within the first 3"es or so from the top of the bar, plenty of stores below them. The queen was on the 2nd to last frame. A bunch made it into the feeder on the other end that was full of dry sugar, they burrowed down oh 1/3rd of the way. I saw them come out the end of january so I know they made it that long or slightly longer. The vent I had was right before the frame feeder full of sugar.
That hive had a TON of water in it! I had the entrance choked down to 1/2 x 1/2" and had the cover (strip of ply wood) over the the frame feeder wedged up 1/4" or so of the starved out hive...the other hive I was able to get completely through.
both were in golden mean hives. I'm contemplating swapping to warre's but doubt I can get them done before the bees arrive this year if I keep going at this. Its hard to justify killing off every year at 150+ per hive per year.
I'll try and post pics tomorrow....the starved out hive I couldnt get in too deep, broke off a few frames, still too much ice on the one side of the hive opposite the window. I did pull 4 or so bars out.