>On Sat I checked on my hive, both deeps were about 95% full of brood & food, so I added a queen excluder, a spacer with an entrance hole, and a medium super for honey. On Sun morning, the whole front of the hive was covered with bees. I went to check, they were all furiously buzzing with thier stingers in the air, and thier heads down.
That's what they usually do if they are disturbed or they are swarming. It's "nasonoving". They also smelled like lemon pledge. Why they would do this when you weren't in the hive I don't know. But the pheromone is not an alarm pheromone. It's a signal to regroup and get back together after a disturbance. Is it possible you misplaced the queen and she's clinging to some piece of equipment with some bees in a cluster outside the hive? That would cause them to nasonov to try to guide her back to the hvie.
>Now, I have only been a beekeeper for 3 months, so I have no idea what this might mean. There are a few varmints around, they keep stealing the ant traps
Maybe they were recovering from some varmits messing with them.
>I'm hoping they didn't swarm, but there is less activity then normal. It's raining this morning, so I am going to try to get into the hive this afternoon to check if they are all still there.
When they are swarming a lot of bees off in the tree would be doing the nasonove thing.
>Any helpful ideas as to thier covering the hive in that manner?
Sounds like a regroup manuver. Why, I don't know. If you pull the lid off of a hive and wait a while they will all do this.