I got home today and found one of my hives a flurry of activity at the entrance. I didn't see any robbing, but they had covered the landing board, drooped down in front of it, and a small 'puddle' of them in front of the hive. It wasn't a beard, but there was quite a few. They were also circling around in front of and above the hive. I had reduced the entrance several days ago. I blew a little smoke into the entrance, removed the reducer and they promptly entered the hive. They didn't seem agressive or agitated. Any idea what was going on? Apparantly I had quite a number of bees hatch out lately, could this simply be their maiden flights? I also noticed that they have been filling the combs, drawing new combs and filling them, with honey. Much of what used to be brood combs now have a lot of honey surrounding a few capped brood cells. I understand that they will put honey at the top of the brood, but they have done that, drawn new comb to the sides and filled that with honey, then it looks like when the brood hatched out, they filled those cells with honey. I had been worried about them producing enough honey for the winter, but it looks like they are doing GREAT in that area, but now there doesn't seem to be much brood at all. Is this normal? It isn't really getting cold here yet, but could it be that the queen has slowed down production for winter? I thought maybe they were planning on swarming, but when I looked inside, I didn't see the first queen cell, just a lot of honey and not much brood. Any advice or recommendations?
I didn't get a chance to check the other hive to compare, but will do that tomorrow. They seemed to be going about their business as usual today. Incidentally, the hive I inspected today hasn't been taking much syrup compared to the other hive. There is a lot of goldenrod blooming here now, but I haven't seen my bees on any of it yet. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place.
Thanks for all the help and sorry about taking up so much space on this board, but you have all been so much help I can never thank you enough.