I finally trudged out to a bee yard to see what is alive and not. I did have some loss in this bee yard, but some are alive as well. I put pollen patties on the live ones. I checked the stores on the live ones by lifting up the top box to determine honey weight. I almost threw one over my head anticipating a bit of a grunt in the lifting process. It was very light and starvation was imminent.
Some of my dead outs must have died in the first week of Feb with the week of below zero weather. There was honey in the hive but the bees had their heads in the cells with their butts looking out at me. This was the look of classic starvation. There was some brood in the cluster and the bees died trying to keep it warm.
I moved some frames of honey to the live hives that needed it. I did not bring syrup with me and really don't want to feed right now unless I have to. But if the bees need food and all I can give them is syrup, then syrup it is. If I feed syrup this time of year I give them a heavy syrup. I don't want to lose the bees at this stage of winter.
I have left the winter covers on for now and will remove them if the weather is on a warming trend that looks like it is here to stay. The sun is stronger now and will start to beat up the boxes and melt the wax coating. I usually always take off the covering by April first.
This week the snow will be gone by Saturday and I should be able to look at the rest of my colonies. I still have time to get packages if I have to replace dead outs.