Hi, I am new to this forum. So much to learn about bees, it never ends.
My father was a bee keeper, had 1000 hives at one time, I helped him as a child, wish I had learned even more at that time. He has passed on now and his bees were sold off to someone that let them all die.
My question is this, well, first here in South Carolina the weather is freezing then warm then raining. This past weekend was very nice days. I have recently moved my one hive to around the corner facing the sun rise (I wanted to get them into the morning sun SAP). Funny thing, a lot of them (looked like a swarm) went back to where the hive was and piled up under a white wooden rocking chair, hanging from the bottom in a group, about 4 inches or so. I got down very close and only saw workers and some drones bees. I never found a queen. In about an hour, they all disappeared.
What where they doing? I have seen videos of bees smothering a queen but don't know if this is what was going on. Could this have been a mating flight? I have never heard of how a mating flight is actually done, but I think that only takes place in the spring?
Thanks for any offers.