Found my scale hive a complete dead out on Sunday. I took apart the colony for an autopsy. My CSI inspection yielding the following. The colony produced a very good honey crop last year. Going into fall, the population was strong and the winter stores were adequate.
Opening the top box I noticed that there still was ample honey in the top box with a few scattered dead bees around on the frames. Taking this box off I looked at the next box. Dead bees were randomly scattered around the box with no apparent cluster of bees. The total amount of bees in the hive was less than a 2 lb package. No brood were to be seen in any frames.
This leads me to conclude how the bees died. Due to my busy schedule last fall I was unable to treat this colony for mites. I paid the price for this with a dead colony. The bees with a high mite infestation will dwindle in the early winter. The bees just fly away and the result is very few bees dead in the colony.
So it is close up the colony and replace it in the spring with a new package. With all the honey left I will not be feeding much in the spring.