I visited my out apiary over the weekend and found that one of my colonies, colony ummm, has died. Colony Ummm? Unfortunately I need to cross check my records to work out which one has died. I really ought to keep better records
The colony in Hive C is dead. It appears to have starved because of the extended cold during March.
I visited my out apiary today to see that the bees were ok. Two of the 3 hives which I thought occupied were flying. The other was too quiet. I suited up and found bees inside which were in the last stage of starvation before death.
The colony in Hive H is dead.
There was clear evidence that the colony starved. There were no stores, and there were numerous bees inside empty cells. I saw evidence that they were still alive quite recently. I think that the recent spell of cold weather finished them off
I opened the hives in my out apiary to put extra food in. I found that the colony in Hive F is dead.
This colony was given to me last May. It had been untreated for 2 years. Before that it was in an intensively managed colony.
I think that the colony died of isolation starvation. During a cold period the colony forms a cluster. Stores are used to keep this cluster warm. If the temperature in the hive is too low the colony may be unable to move around the hive. They eat the honey where they are. When this is finished they starve and then die of cold.