So I posted a thread about losing my hive (thanks for all the help). I called a beekeeper but he can't come for a few days so I did some investigating on my own. When I opened the hive I found dead bees on top of the super, between the frames & lying on the bottom screen, but to my estimates there was only about 300 dead bees & no live ones. Shouldn't there be more in my hive ? I have looked really hard but can't find the queen. When I closed up the hive in the fall I located her so I know she was alive then. Now that I know what to look for I also found mites. Later in the day I noticed bees on the front looking for syrup where my feeder had been. I popped the top & bees were inside eating honey. Are these robbers from another hive? Did my bees leave & then come back for honey? I'm totally baffled!
Hi again Rosieriveter!
I would suspect that you have robbers from another hive. Yesterday was warm and the bees were out flying and if they found "unguarded treasure" they would come on in and help themselves. If it were me, I would wait until dark, close the hive up and put it somewhere where I could store it. I would place the frames in the fridge until I was able to get more bees. If you do not have room in the fridge, you will need to do something to keep the wax moths from ruining the comb. You can do a search on wax moths on this forum or on the web for other suggestions on what to do to protect from wax moths. If you leave the hive open and outside, the other bees will take all of the honey, wax moths will ruin the comb and sometimes a mouse will find its way into the hive.
I do not think that your bees left and are coming back for the honey.
I hope that you do not get discouraged. Bees are a bit more difficult to keep than before the mites entered this country in the 1980's but they are very interesting creatures and we need them for pollination.
I hope that this helps.