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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it's official. Found the queen in the clump of bees on the BB. Strange thing is where the cluster died at there was honey just inches away. Anyone want to provide some insight for me on this?

Good learning experience, and have honey and comb for a split or a swarm.
 

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Sorry to hear of the loss of your colony. It isn't unusual for bees to starve with stores just inches away. When its really cold, as it has been here, the cluster cannot move to the stores. Stores that are to one side of the cluster are of no use to the bees. They move upward very slowly to reach stores but ignore frames of honey to either side of the cluster.
 

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I've seen nice size clusters starve at the top of a frame. The box above was full of capped honey. The cluster did not bridge the gap between the top of their frame and the bottom of the frame above. As said before, in cold weather the fringe of the cluster must be in direct contact with honey above.....they will not break cluster to find it......but it'll surely break you heart.
 

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Some call this type of death "Cold Starvation". They starved because of the cold, not because they did not have (or ran out) food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Live and learn. Or in this case, die and learn.
 

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Another thing to keep in mind is that colonies infested with Tracheal mites often die during the winter. I've seen this happen in January and February when precautions were not taken during the previous fall. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks BeeAware, I did take precautions first week in September.

Anybody have opinions on what to do with all the frames of honey? My other hive is good for the winter. Thought about letting the dead out sit and let my other hive just rob it out, but not sure if that's best practice. Most of the capped honey is sugar water.
 

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Letting bees rob out a dead-out is not a good option. That can spread "bad stuff" around; to other's bees as well as to yours. It can also create "robbing" that can NOT be controlled.

I would close it up "bee-tight", wait till warmer weather to dismantle (or repopulate).
Meanwhile any capped honey present can be consumed, by you or other bees.
 
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