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I had a beekeeper call me last night to ask what I thought happened to his hive. He mentioned that he really didn't do much with them, though he knew for certain they had plenty of food left. He didn't take off the supers, if I understood him correctly. He said there was food left and a hand full of bees dead in the comb, also that the hives were packed with bees in the fall. The other two hives are doing fine. He said that some of the comb was purple ish, so I encouraged him to send that off to have it tested. My thoughts were this:
If a queen dies in the winter, what happens to the hive. Will the bees drift? I can't imagine that they would be able to make a new queen in the dead of winter, or can they?
 

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Strong hives with plenty of honey can die from mite related issues just as easily as not so strong ones. If he is not monitoring there is no way to anticipate it. The strength of the hive has nothing to do with mite resistance/tolerance.
 
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