I started beekeeping last spring after reading all winter and spring with 3 hives all hives were nucs.
My first hive died in late august the hive never really thrived, I believe it was mainly due to having a poor queen she never had a good laying pattern. The hive population started to decline mid July and was done by late August. My second hive died this week I believe from what I am reading is that it was mostly due to starvation and a very deep onset of cold last week. The hive was 2 deep supers 1 super was 85 percent full in the fall and the second was 40 percent full. I treated the hive with apiary strips for mites for 6 weeks in the fall and also fed a 2 to 1 sugar syrup until the middle of November. I placed an 18 pound sugar cake on the top super at the end of November. Upon a hive inspection today the weather was 54 degrees and cloudy the hive had no outside activity so I opened it up and found all bees were dead many were in head first into cells and there was still a small amount of honey on some frames still capped. Approximately 1/4 of the sugar had been consumed. The hive had no noticeable odor. The dead bees were located at various places around the hive as well as a large amount on the bottom screen board. No wax moths or hive beetles were present and there had been a mice guard on since late august so no signs of mice or other vermin were present. The third hive also was set up exactly as the second hive and seems to be doing well. I have not done an internal inspection due to the rain and overcast but the bees were very active. What should I be looking for and how can I help my last hive survive the rest of the winter. I am located in the Hudson Valley area of New York.