On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 it was sunny and a record 61 degrees. This was a good test to see what hives were alive and which ones were dead. No live hive could possible stay inside on a day like that! It was nice to be able to know for absolute sure which hives were alive. The vertical hive in the apiary is alive for sure. The small swarm hive is dead, as I suspected. Unfortunately, the horizontal hive is dead as well. I didn't have time on Saturday to do anything in the hives. Today was 40 degrees and dreary, but warm enough to take the top of the live hive. I first opened the horizontal hive to see if there was any honey left in it. I found six full deep frames of honey. The dead cluster was small and was far from the honey stores. I am not sure if the queen died, or if they just got too small and couldn't move when the weather got extremely cold. This is one reason I want to jump start our bees with new queens this year. Apparently our feral population is not strong enough yet to raise quality queens on our own.
I put the six frames in an insulated deep and then I opened the top of the live hive, took out the sugar water pails and the box that was around them, put the deep with the honey on top of the hive, then put the sugar water back on top of that. The sugar water was pretty much full. I don't know if that means they didn't need it, or they couldn't access it due to it being too thick, the weather being too cold to move up there, or what. The top super seemed empty. I am hoping they are able to cross that to get to the honey I put on.