This time of year we get a few warms spells here and there that get the bees flying. I don't like to tear into a hive because we could still have plenty of very cold weather in my neck of the woods in Indiana. In the winter when we have a warm enough day for the bees to be out flying are there any characteristics you look for around the entrance to suggest it is robbing bees Vs. an active hive that is out and about? I've watched a weak hive in the summer start to get overtaken and see the fighting and such. But if a hive died out in the middle of a cold snap and then it warms up and they start getting robbed is that easy to spot?
We had a warm up about three weeks ago and all of my hives had plenty of bees flying. I went back over today with temps near the 60's and one of the hives had little activity. I checked and it was dead. I'm wandering if it was likely dead last month or if it has died the last few weeks. There was still a good amount of stores in the hive. Given the time of year I was expecting it would have been robbed out by now if they have been dead too long since we have had some warm weather recently.