I check my hives on a 75 degree San Antonio day. I checked 3 of my hives that are about 25 mins from my house.i have been doing beekeeping for about 2 years but last winter was not so hot. I have all feral hives that I rescued last year and they produced rapidly last year. When I opened the hive I noticed that the bottom brood box had nothing in it, no brood, and no honey. The super still had honey and the bees where about the size of a soccer ball! I need to know what I should have expected or if they will lay on the bottom brood box come spring. I will take any advice on a winter hive check that you can give. The check date was Jan 30th I believe.