Russ,Our nighttime low of approximately 16 degrees F on Christmas Eve produced the second dead-out of the season (#2012). This colony was a swarm hived on May 1st that never really took off and has been on the watch list all season.
They drew-out almost a full Warre box, albeit on a 45 degree angle from the entrance and the spacing of the interior combs is approximately 1-1/2" center-to-center, which seems to be consistent with the value noted in colonies around here which choose to improvise on the top bars (currently at 1-1/4" center-to-center).
In the spirit of experimentation, I decided to try Squarepeg's trick of doing a mite wash on the dead cluster. There were exactly 241 bees in the cluster and an alcohol wash with through shaking produced 21 mites.
I sincerely hope you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year, filled with an abundance of God's simple gifts.
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21 on 241 almost 10% defiantly an impact.
The wonky box has a neat look could be used as a super for cut and strain.
For an interesting experiment, next box you place in that spot put the top bars parallel to the comb built this time. seeing is believing.
have a great year