We came out of Winter this last year strong and thought that the quilting boxes we had put on was the key to our success. But today we probed our 7 hives with the endoscope and with the exception of one small struggling group of bees, we found nothing but dead, soggy corpses.
When putting them to bed this fall, we noticed that despite the great Summer, our numbers were down in each hive. Maybe a half a hive only in each one. So maybe we should have combined hives to make 3 or 4 very heavily populated hives. With the exception of one week early on, it hasn't been all that cold (Seattle area) but it has been rainy of course.