It amazes me to no end, when I read, on all the different forums, how majority of beeks poke in and about their hives in winter?!
All I can say is: "Poor bees..."
Here a cardinal rule is being broken, much too often! In winter, bees require/need total peace and quiet!
They are very attuned to vibrations! Cleaning them out, every two days or so? Boy, with all that poking, they are surely to break cluster and try to investigate.
I have a feeling that a lot of beeks will even bang a bit more, just to see if any will come to the hole???
Look, I find no joy in telling grown-up-people, what to do in their own domain?! But, if one is accustomed to foolish behaviour, one should not be surprised if lees then perfect outcome is encountered- come Spring?!
Such behaviour hurts the bees more than one would think. Most, if not all inquisitive bees, which brake from the cluster are surely lost and cluster itself is every such time, under undue stress and danger of failure... Other negatives I won't even mention...
If beek was so (over) attentive the previous Fall - bees should be well provisioned!
With top entrance, they will do OK, even if bottom becomes plugged. In winter there is nothing one can do to save them, if proper wintering was not performed.
The best one can do - is to leave them alone! Even walking about them, will disturb them, if such behaviour is not a normal occurrence. (Home yard - out yard!)
Now, this piece of advice is intended only to those with real winters and clustering bees! Those lucky beeks in warmer regions, please disregard this. . . .
If one is concerned about them, grab a bee-book and brush up! Acquire some fresh knowledge! One needs to occasionally gain something, besides what some "tutor" may or may not tell...