The first group of forlorn bees were mostly perched on rocks within 2 feet of the five. Two on one rock, one on another, in total about 20 bees. Yesterday the dead bees and purple eyed larva were congregated immediately outside the mouse guard at the reduced hive entrance, again about 20 bees. The way these bees were situated suggested they were trying to get in, but werent allowed. It looks like they spent the night at the entrance until the weather got them.
This hive is off by itself, no other hives nearby.
These bees have been fed using an internal frame feeder in a super above the inner cover. They have been taking sugar buzz steadily, at a quart or more a day. However in the last week they have slowed way down on the feeding. They have eight frames plus of stored honey/sugar. Hunger is not likely.
Temperatures at night get down into the 40's but no frost yet. Highs this last week were in the 60's
So the robbing or hunger hypothesis seem unlikely. Neighther would they explain why this hive produces no large drones, which is what I am still pondering...