Winter work includes walks through the woods and the mud anytime it’s warm enough. Sadly, this weekend it also included cleaning out three of our five beehives as the colonies died during our most recent cold spell. One of them we suspected to be queenless going into winter, so it’s loss wasn’t a surprise. The other two, we had higher hopes for. Inspecting the combs and the dead clusters of bees, they appear to have starved, despite the fact that there was plenty of honey throughout the hive and even on nearby frames. In both hives there were eggs, and we’ve read that bees won’t abandon their brood during a cold spell, even to eat. I am not sure what we could have done to prevent this, and I am nervous about our other two hives. We can only hope for the best. At any rate, I feel good about getting all my equipment organized and thinking of what a good start any new packages we buy this spring will have, owing to all the comb and honey the others left behind.