Hive #2 was dead. I was not in the least surprised.
Hive #3 was dead. I wasn't too surprised.
Hive #1 on the other hand still has life. It was the only one that had had any capped honey going into winter. I put some home-made, once-was-syrup rock-candy under the lid.
Then I went to it--cleaning out and stripping the other two hives. I ended up with a five gallon bucket of comb which is now sitting in the garage waiting to be melted.
I'm trying this year to think ahead better than last year, and as such, I'm planning on starting flower seeds in mid-February and maybe even getting a new package or two ordered. In the meantime, I keep praying that my one and only live colony stays that way.
I collected a couple of the dead bees and skewered them onto a piece of cardboard. I'm still formulating some sort of beekeeping living history set up for my Civil War reenacting. I might as well put a couple of those poor dead buzzers to good use...