This is my first winter with my two hives. Hive 1 was always lagging a bit behind Hive 2 and seemed to have troubles in the summer with egg production to the point where I thought the hive might collapse so I took steps to move brood frames from Hive 2 (which was always a strong hive -- lots of brood and supplies, even got about 20 lbs of honey at the summer's end) to support the population.
Now winter has set in, temperatures down to the low 30s F at night, up to 45-50 F in the daytime. Hive 1 is still pretty active when the sun is out and I've seen bees carrying loads of pollen into the hive. Hive 2 is looking dead. There are dead bees on the doorstep and very few bees moving in or out. I pound a couple times on Hive 1 and bees come out to defend against me, Hive 2 shows no reaction. I cleared the dead bees off the doorstep of Hive 2 and more dead bees appear the next day so its not completely inactive.
As I said, this is my first winter and I'm quick to worry and I'm not sure if I should take action or not. Should I open up Hive 2 on a sunny day to check on them, clean out the hive if the bees are all dead? Should I just let it go and wait?
Any advice is appreciated.