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Due to a break in the cold weather I checked the 4 hives in my back yard. As I approached I saw some girls flying (temp around 40.) I also saw several hundred (maybe 1000) dead bees in the snow, some were as much as 30-40 feet away from the hives, most were right in front of the hive. Is this anything to worry about? Isn't the point of taking a cleansing flight to dump and get back to the hive? Should I assume that a lot more girls are making it back okay?

I started to think that when the clusters reform in the hives they are more likely to be right on top of plenty of food. Therefore, I figure that I am just seeing some of the natural winter attrition and that my colonies are in good shape so far.
 

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Normal cleansing flights and bees in the snow which were at the end of their life and the last trip to the lou was it. What a way to go huh.

I doub't you have more than 2040 or 50 or so per hive unless you went into winter with huge clusters. It always looks like more in the snow. they also drag out dead from inside the hive. The fact the hives survived the recent really cold snap is good as is the fact they get a chance for the cleansing flight and to relocate the cluster on food stores if necessary. Don't worry to much.
 
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