Re: Cold weather causing mass escape???
What is cold in Charlotte, NC, this time of year? 65? 70? I don't know what is going on bloomwise in your neck of the woods, or burbs, but we have asters and goldenrod here and when temps are above 50 bees are flying.
It's what they do to survive. So, the short answer to your question is, they are looking for something to forage on. Specifically what is it that they are looking for, I have no idea? But they will do it whenever they can. And often when you or I might think they shouldn't.
"Beekeeping. It's a journey, not a destination." Mark Berninghausen