Help!! I have been reading and studying in preparation for this spring and thought I was completely prepared. Actually having bees is completely different than reading about them! Anyway, let me recap. We installed our bees on April 20th. Top bar hive, 3 top 3/4" entrance holes, closed bottom board. A few weeks ago I went into the hive and saw 8 capped queen cells. I let them continue on and checked on them again Monday. I saw a new queen who appeared to be mated (possibly??). Most of the queen cells were hatched, but there were 3 still capped. I left them alone. The new queen was not yet laying (I think - no uncapped larva/eggs), and most of the brood from the old queen had hatched. There are about 8-9 combs drawn, some capped honey, and some capped brood (no drone brood). This morning at 5:45 am, right before I was leaving for work, I saw some bees bearding. I also saw a few bees flying out of the hive. NOOOO!!! I went out to the hive and got a closer look. It was a small clump about 4-5 inches in diameter. The bees have 4 empty bars behind the drawn comb and then there is a follower board. The bearding bees were sort of patting the hive with their feet. I have read that beees do this when they are ready to swarm - they are cleaning? The temperature was in the mid 80s yesterday. Today is going to be high temps again, with high humidity. Overnight was cooler - mid 60s. Do I need to put in a few empty bars mixed in with the drawn comb? Most of the comb is empty since most of the brood has hatched. Could a new package already want to swarm?? As it gets warmer do bees start to forage super early in the morning?? Were the bees flying out possibly scout bees?
I will get home at about 3 pm today. Hopefully, they're all still there.