Excuse me if this isn't top bar specific but both my hives are top bar so I thought I'd post it here.
Two days ago I went out to check the bees and found many (80 - 100) on the ground around both of my hives. These were young bees with no apparent wing deformities and they appeared sluggish. Some were in groups of three to five but most were just crawling around in the grass by themselves. I looked at a few of them under a magnifying glass and could see nothing odd. No swelling of abdomen, mites, leg paralysis or deformed wings. There were some mustard colored droppings on the grass but I don't know that it's related, never really looked this close at the grass before.
I searched online and all I could find was this behavior was possibly consistent with tracheal mites so I gave each hive some honey bee healthy in 1:1 syrup. I should note that I don't want to be treating but it's tough to watch them struggle and My thinking is the HBH is a minimal treatment. I didn't do a mite roll but two months ago both hives got a five week powdered sugar treatment and I don't see any mites on the bees.
Yesterday when I got home I went to check on them and one hive was having orientation flights. Now, this is my first year of beekeeping and I can't resist standing in the middle of orientations, it's just so cool. Well I noticed the bees were landing in the grass and on me. They looked fine and after a while some would fly off but most of them just stayed. So I have a lot of my new bees leaving for orientation and not returning to the hive. This is happening to both hives.
Both hives had taken almost a whole quart of the syrup, don't know if they liked it or took it out out of the hive and spit it out.
Last weekend I inspected the hives and didn't see anything out of the norm, I did add brood bars between the honey and brood to both. The bees behaved as normal but maybe a tad grouchy.
So... any ideas? Anyone else seeing this?