It has been awhile since we got warm enough for real activity, but they were still alive back in early December. How strong...I really don't know.
One of them pushed a bunch of DWV bees out the front (and dead mites) in early November. I figured they were goners, but no more big die offs since then (I think)
All that insulation makes it impossible to hear them like I can in the wooden hives. But usually if the weather warms to high 30's and sun I can see a few walking about inside the entrance, and doing a bit of "house cleaning", not so with the other hives so the insulation seems to be doing something. Whether it is helping remains to be seen.
I keep hoping for a nice "warm" day that I will feel brave enough to open them up and see what they look like...but really I know my curiosity is more likely to harm them then answer any real questions besides are they alive and how big is the cluster. I guess at some point I need to re asses their stores, but that seems hard to do without pulling frames....really wish I had weighed them in fall. What a nice non-invasive way to monitor...live and learn.
I just hope one makes it so I can stock them into the observation hive I just built! I think I will wait on buying the pricey laminated glass until spring!