Why are my bees dead?

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Jul 23, 2009
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This is the time of year when first inspections are being thought about if not being done, the time when hives are getting really active and colonies are collecting early pollen.
It’s also the time beekeepers are seeing their winter losses.
If you have lost a colony and you don’t know why giving as much information as you can helps the more experienced members offer an informed opinion and the thread won’t end up a list of speculation.
The sort of info we need is
What have you have seen? Is the queen there? Are there dead bees in the box and if so where and in what numbers?
Are there stores?
Was the colony strong going into winter?
Post pictures of some of the frames.
Did you treat for varroa? What with and when?
Good luck with your bees and I hope they all make it through
Was going to inspect today, but the low cloud obscured the hives.
More often than not, colony loss will be attributed to varroa, this presentation is well worth watching.

(Sounds like we should be mite washing samples from the outer frames where the drones hang out earlier in the year. Rather than the inner frames with brood.
Not quite sure how that changes how and when you treat tho'.)

#edit Sorry, this is hijacking the thread which is about diagnosis of failed hives.