In the photo below, you can see how the bees stay in a cluster during the winter. It's about the size of a football, and they don't stray far from the group, even within the hive.
Here, you can see some brood comb from the bottom-most box. See the beautiful, dark burgundy brown color?
This is how we can tell the girls starved: bee behinds... "bee-hinds"... sticking out of the comb.
Honey that was still in the frames. Since the bees don't stray from the cluster in extreme cold, they can starve even with honey in the comb. This is called "cold starvation". We will save this for our new bees, for food.
We're going to continue to clean things up and prepare for spring. I'm really looking forward to sharing more soon!