Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Welcome to Beesource Gary. There are no yankees or hillbillies here, just beekeepers that live in different climates. Sounds like you are learning by doing. Find a local bee club and attend a few meetings, maybe take a beginning beekeeprs class. You will learn a lot. You never mentioned treating for the varroa mite, so based on your history and the description of late fall hives collapse, I am going to posit that your hives succumbed to them. Read the sticky "Anatomy of a mite crash" found in the bee forum. It will open your eyes and give you valuable information for moving forward. For local information, member Tennessees Bees, Kamon Reynolds, has a great Youtube channel. Good luck!