Last winter was a tough one in the Northeast, and the bees were hit as hard as everyone else. I lost 4 hives, and all 4 of them were starved in their clusters, with plenty of honey elsewhere in the hive.
I have never wrapped my hives in winter, since humidity has always been a bigger problem in my area than cold. I am thinking I may need to change my tactics and plan for humidity AND frigid temps.
So sorry to hear that news, My friend Louise A. has some of your bees, they seem to be doing fine.
I was looking for some of the very dark honey, is that just from old hives? when is it available?
Fall honey is darker than spring honey, but if you are looking for the REALLY dark stuff you want buckwheat honey. It is sometimes available in health food stores, but in my experience the only reliable sources are online. Just make sure you buy it raw, or you might as well (and very well might) be eating corn syrup with food coloring and “natural flavoring” in it.