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So I had this hive where The queen was superseded this fall. Not enough time to stock up on stores or bees for winter. It was a dink in September. I should have pinched the queen and combined but decided to baby them instead. 4 pints of honey later and dry sugar on top couldn't save them.

They had loads of pollen on 5 frames but not a lick of nectar anywhere. Looked like a typical cold starvation die out. I can't seem to figure out how to upload pics without error, but this is what I saw:

Extremely small cluster with a queen. Prob no bigger than a baseball. Heads in cells. Next to the cluster were a few empty cells and then off to itself was a tiny patch of capped brood. Why wasn't the cluster over the brood? I thought I had read somewhere that they would not leave brood and would starve protecting it and keeping it warm. This was not the case. I scraped open the cells and the brood looked healthy enough (still white and fully formed though some were turning a tad grey). No disease.

So what am I missing? Will the cluster in fact leave brood unattended In search of food or warmth? That is certainly what it looked like.
 

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If the nurse bees were unable to keep the brood warm, the brood may have chilled and died, bees can tell when brood is dead, after the brood died, the bees clustered to no avail.
 

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>The queen was superseded this fall. Not enough time to stock up on stores or bees for winter.
Why do you think it was a supersedure? All that should have already been done. Just a simple superseded queen should not have done all that.

>Extremely small cluster with a queen. Prob no bigger than a baseball
A small cluster cannot stay warm or move very far to get to stores.
Sounds like there was a preexisting problem with the hive, mites, diseases?

When was this hive started? split, nuc or package? Never expanded?
 
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