Wellsir, bad news. I went out to check my bees day before yesterday and found the west hive had all frozen. There was one live bee but she wasn't doing very well. Yesterday even she was gone. The hive is/was full of bee bodies that were not (apparently) harmed in any physical way. There were frames full of honey so they did not starve.
I DO NOT understand it as the two hives are about 40 feet apart, at most 40 feet and the temperature would seem to be the same for both. This was supposed to be my strong hive but it got wiped out. There was a message on the message board today of someone bragging they had not lost any hive - yet. So, I sorta-kinda-almost feel a little better as it may not be that unusual.
I have a "cover" thingie I use in the car to put down over the back carpet when transporting lots of "stuff." I seriously considered wrapping it around the hive to block out some of the cold. Then I thought, and someone else actually said it out loud, that bees have survived for millions of years so they knew what to do. I am guessing my bees were too stupid to know what to do so they all froze.
I was planning on buying another starter hive this spring so now, IF I can afford it, I shall buy two.