I’ve gone out and pulled the core flute slider 3 times nowI and each time there were 30 or so dead small hive beetles laying on the slider. The temp here is bouncing from 15 to 50 degrees. I don’t want to crack open the hive yet because it is still to cold here. Currently we have ice and snow on the way. I did look at the front of the hive and saw 4 or 5 bees flying in and out of the hive which made me happy to see that my bees have indeed made it through my first winter as a bee keeper. Does finding this many dead beetles mean my hive is totally infested???
Impossible to say. Bees do actually allow SHB to cluster with them in the winter, for some odd reason. Those may the ones they chased down on warmer days, when they came to their senses about the imposters.