So today after school I decided to go out and check on the girls, since I knew they must be languishing in this drought here in GA.
Well, I got there and there was quite a bit of flying going on (it was 74 degrees!). As I walked around the hive, I noticed a bunch of bees (like 20) on one of the cinder blocks under the hive. As I looked closer, I noticed that there was a queen with a bunch of younger bees around her! I didn't have my veil or smoker, and had just come from work, so I just watched. The queen eventually moved around the back of the hive and under the SBB. So I went around front to watch what was going on there. After about a minute, I saw the queen land (crash?) rather awkwardly on the landing board and head inside.
Sure it was the same queen. Sounds to me like you might have had a very late swarm or supercedure take place and more than 1 queen hatch. The queen with the crash landing was most probably returning from a mating flight.
I know they are about out of stores, so I went home and cooked up a batch of syrup, and brought it out and filled the top feeder for them.
Any idea what was going on? Are they looking to abscond? Have I possibly averted their departure by providing syrup? I hope so. This was my best hive, and I feel horrible for not being able to check on them like I should. I also noticed that the hive beetles were moving pretty good in the hive.
Should I go out and disturb them tomorrow? It's supposed to be 76 tomorrow! Where's the rain?
If you've got weather in the 70's it's time to feed, feed, and feed some more. You can probably save this hive with concentrated effort and plenty of feeding. The SHB is a sign the hive is nearing total collapse--stall some SHB traps and watch the hive closely. Weekly at least until they are on more solid footing.