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Well, I thought all was good...
I inspected on October 13th feeding sugar water syrup.
I have 2 hives. The larger one is photoed below:
All was good with bees all over the top bars:


I put plugs in the center hole in each, and reduced the entrance from 2 1/2 inch to 1 inch. my smaller hive is photoed here:
It dipped to as cold as 28 degrees...


Then yesterday 11-28-13 I go to put sugar on the top bars:
I see almost virtually no bees. A significant population reduction.

My smaller hive (in the blue box) On 10-13-13:


And now it has still loads of bees:

This is how I am doing my over winter feeding with 2 sheets of newspaper and sugar:

Since I am giving both hives the same care and on the same days I don't understand what may be happening..
Also when I fed on 10-13-13 the larger hive (the one that colapsed) finished all 96 ounces of sugar water..
The smaller hive finished about 75% and there was dead bees on top of the floats.

Anybody experienced this? I wonder of I soffocated them when I reduced the entrance and put a cork in their top hole.
 

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When you say "larger" hive, what does that mean? If it's 2 deeps then the bees may be clustered in the bottom box.
 

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OK. Have you removed the entrance reducer and looked at the bottom board to see if the bees are piled up dead or are they just missing now?
 

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Both look to me to be low on bees for overwintering. For one box I would expect to not be able to see the top bars of the frames.
 

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Viral collapse. Some shots of the middle of the cluster will show brood in "sad" shape I'm sure. Any sign of DWF on the bees that still inhabit the hive?
 

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Perhaps he should simply put in an order for new bees now, rather than wait.

I don't see capped honey anywhere in the semi-strong hive. Also, while it could just be bad lighting, etc., the texture/color looks off on the bees on the top bar. That could be due to DWV or some other pathogen.
 
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