Re: Bees starving
I have changed to have 2:1 syrup on my hives during winter until I start feeding with frame feeders in March.
I use reversed pint glass jars with plastic lids that have three small holes, smallest drill bit I had (1/16"). The jars are inside four 2" thick, 12"x12" EPS boards with a 5" hole, topped by a solid 2" 12"x12" EPS board, all glued together. I had the same problem as you, lots of stores in dead hives and it did not make sense to me. I looked at the stores and I feel the bees where not able to liquefy the stores to use. We are not through the winter, but we had a week of -35°C (-31°F), now at +3 to 9°C (37-48°F) and the bees are nicely feeding.
BTW, I have two hives that received a pound of pollen sub. in the fall before winter wrapping and they are now bringing the paper backing out, telling me they are feeding on it. Ask me in April if this is good or bad.
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