On Monday my hive swarmed, not sure how many bees i lost if any (i think they MAY have gone back into the hive, as upon opening it up, it was PACKED with bees still)......... On Wedensday there was what looked to be an after-swarm, much less bees involved maybe about the size of a softball.
The brood hatch following a swarm will generally replace the missing bees so a visual check is not an accurate way of judging whether or not a hive has swarmed. It is not unusual for hives to have after swarms especially when the development of the queen cells are done over a period of a week or more. each after swarm gets smaller and smaller and further depletes a hives resources and sometimes their survivability. Then too, some after swarms are nothing more than workers accompanying the new queen out of the hive on her mating flights, they quickly return.
I opened up the brood chamber and took a few frames of bees/honey/eggs/brood and did a small split (4 frames in all).
Was there eggs? Usually a queen will be forced to quit laying eggs about a week or so before the hive swarms. This leaves the hive with nothing but brood in the pupae stage as the hive swarms. Bees must have eggs or larvae in the 3-4 day old range in order to make a new queen. If all you had in the hive was capped brood then put the splits back together again and hope you didn't injure the new queen in the splitting process.
Last night i noticed lots of bees crawling around in the grass, seemingly unable to fly. They would get an inch or 2 in the air, fly for a very short distance and drop back down. I picked a few up and put them on the hive porch, but they would try to fly again, and end up in the grass.
Sounds like K wing or some other virus. What did the wings look like? In K wing the wings look like the letter K imposed over the bees body. In other wing disorders they can look crumpled to non-existant. If this was the capped brood hatching then you have a problem with a recent swarm and a split.
There is also the possibility of a light insecticide or herbacide poisoning that could have affected a part of the forager bees.
Could i have a problem that i dont know what to look for? This hive was extremely strong, and looking inside still is, but between the swarming, and now the crawling bees, im concerned that there is a problem im not aware of.
Do another inspect addressing the areas of the bees wings, capped and uncapped brood, presence or evidence of queen cells, and get back to us with that info. We'll be able to help you more with more specific information then.