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Hi, I would appreciate some guidance.
This is a colony we got last year. It grew pretty well and we did not take any honey at all. In the winter we supplement with 2/1 syrup, then when really cold with fondant (actually this is middle TN and it does not get really cold). In the spring the colony was alive, with plenty of reserve of honey and they barely ate any of the fondant.
I got conflicting advises on feeding, or not feeding and since they had plenty of honey I did not feed.
3 days ago I installed 2 new colonies in close proximity, and I closed the door of the original colony so that only one bee could squeeze at a time. Today I went to remove the queen cages from my new colonies and checked on the original at the same time: no one left.
I think there is still quite some honey, I suspect there is a wax moth that did some damage, and I see tiny fleck over some cell,not sure what these are.

So...

1) did the colony just died of attrition ? And in the future I should merge such a colony with a stronger one ?
2) if not from attrition, what killed it (no bad smell, no gooey stuff by the way)
3) what do I do with those frames ?
Is the honey worth salvaging ?
Is the wax worth salvaging ?

Thanks for your suggestions !

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You said they were there in the spring, did they have any brood frames? An early spring hive should have a small patch.

Could have been a queenless hive, could have been mites. If they did not consume that much over winter they could have been dwindling.

Wax moths only mean that the hive was vacant or partially vacant. If the moths are all alive then they are resent and not from the fall.

Did you treat for mites?

Freeze the frames for 24 hours to kill beetles and moths. Harvest the honey or use it on you other hives.
 
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