New to the forums: Hello everyone!
First hive, it was transplanted from the inner wall of my shed into a hive box June 2013. The beekeeper who extracted the hives, was able to build 3 frames of partially drawn comb. Since that time, the bees grew and built another 2 frames worth of comb: totaling 5 filled frames. I fed them most of fall a sugar syrup since they were a weak hive (numbers and frames wise). Going into winter they were obvious weak, half of a deep frame hive filled, and fed with syrup through until winter due to a nectar dearth and late start.
We've had a brutal winter. The hive was sitting behind a shed for all of winter, pretty well covered from the elements.
I inspected the hive 2 days ago, and found mold + a nice pint or so of dead bees on the bottom board/strewn about around frames. There is a cluster of bees still alive, but i haven't pulled them to see if the queen is still there. It doesn't look like that many bees, maybe 50 - 100 bees.... I threw some honey on the top of the frames the bees are located to feed them, i think their stores are empty because they took to the honey right away. Hopefully waiting for warmer weather to inspect and see if I still have a queen, queen cells, or any brood/general status of the combs. Condensation might of also been an issue over the winter, as we've had 5+ inches of snow and ice storm, twice this winter - along with weather in the minus, and a steady 30 - 40 degrees most winter long.
Question: Is it possible the queen is dead and these workers are all that is left? (hive is essentially dead now)
The last time I saw the bees fly was maybe 3 weeks ago on a sunny day at 55 F.
I welcome any advice or suggestions I should follow.
Thanks in advance!