I went into winter with 4 hives and 2 nucs (all Langstroth style). Some of you may recall, I did a lot of posting about OAV and the great results I was having last fall. My last treatment was during a warm spell in late Nov/early Dec. All colonies had plenty of honey and moisture boards on top of inner covers entering winter. I absolutely believe my mite loads were low entering winter tho' I did not do a count after the last treatment due to falling temps.
Since our winter has been brutal, I added "winter patties" to each hive on a warm day in January. I then checked on them about 5 weeks ago(temps in the mid 30s) and added more patties purchased from a very reputable supply company. All of the hives were booming when I added the patties and had bees covering the entire tops of the frames in the uppermost super. I was VERY pleased.
About 2 weeks ago I went out to check on a 50ish degree day and found both nucs dead, 1 hive dead, 1 hive almost dead (since died), another hive at about 50% of the quantity of bees from before and 1 hive still booming. Today, tho' I did not open them, The 50% hive is still alive but there was no sound from the hive that was booming 2 weeks ago. Let me define booming...By this I mean bees covering the entire surface of the bars on the uppermost super.
Only thing I did was add patties from a new batch I had just purchased. They hives are looking a bit poopy but only on the outside of the hives. There have been very few flight days this winter. Yes, I am calling our state inspector. My question is this; has anyone else lost healthy hives after feeding "winter patties". Many of the supply houses list them this way. I purchased mine from a company I completely believe in and will not mention at this time. I am simply wondering if anyone else has had a similar occurrence so I can better understand what went wrong by eliminating possibilities.