First, on the hive that might have laying workers, I introduced a Saskatraz queen. Unfortunately, they might have balled her because I have not seen any eggs. On the other hand, I haven't seen a dead queen either. This hive is still alive and appears to be doing well in many ways but I suspect it doesn't have a queen. I will know more as we move into Spring.
The other hive died due to mites. This hive had brood and a good queen. I did the large brood break in July and then treated with OA in Aug. - 4 treatments 5 days apart. I was confident that mites were taken care of so I didn't check for the rest of the Fall. The hive died a few weeks ago and I did an autopsy. There was plenty of honey and the cluster died within eating distance of it. I took about 89 of the bees and put them into a bowl. I picked through the bees and was able to pull off about 19 mites and I'm sure I didn't get them all. I'm just astounded that the hive ended up with so many mites. Any pointers on what I did wrong and how to do better in the future would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.