Over the weekend I checked both of my beehives and found that both of the colonies had died over the winter. I can’t tell why the one died but the cluster was very small and most of the bees were gone. It was very clean except for the small cluster of dead.
As you can see the bees died with lots of food available but they just didn’t survive. It looks like the varrola mite took its toll on this hive and the cluster size just got to small to keep it alive.
My second beehive was attacked by what appears to be a small rodent. There were signs that the small creature had crawled in and eaten the comb and honey in the bottom brood box. This forced the cluster up into the second brood box but by the time they moved up, I believe that too many of the bees had died from the attack even though there was lots of honey and food stores in the top brood box and super.
As you can see from the photos below that cluster was very small and had started to mold. You can also see the frames that had eaten out by the rodent and the path that attack.
My new packages of bees will be here on April 13 and they will have lots of honey to get started with in these hives.