I was able to ski out to the hives today. Air temperatures were around 26 degrees. We had just had a snowfall with blowing snow that dumped 12” – 16” of snow. It is really hard to tell exactly how much snow we got because it drifted and the drifts are in different places than normal because the wind came from the opposite direction than it normally comes.
The long hive was above the snow, but the snow did bury the first concrete block or two of its stand. There was definitely evidence of life there. The bees seem to be using the inner cover hole on the side of the hive to come out because there were a few dead bees in the snow on the side of the hive under that hole. Considering that we had a major snowfall the previous day, it was encouraging to see some bees in the snow.
The middle hive, which at one point we thought was dead, also had evidence of life, dead bees in the snow below the top entrance. This was also the case on the other vertical hive, the one insulated with foam boards.
So, at this point in the winter all three hives appear to still be alive. Now we just continue to wait for spring.