I live in northeastern North Carolina. Last week my neighbor informed me that there was a swarm of bees in his yard while I was at work. I was sure it wasn't my bees but an inspection of my hive proved that it was my bees. There is a handful of bees left that seem to be working hard to maintain life as usual but I am worried they are not strong enough to build themselves back up. I don't know why the rest of the bees left, but I do know I am super sad.
This is a new hive that I just started in May of this year. They never did make any capped honey and the brood was never very healthy looking. I was always able to find the queen but I am now thinking that maybe she was not a good queen and that my bees must have made a new one and then they just packed up and left with her.
What should I do now? How should I care for the bees that are left. They seem to be working - they come and go and there are guard bees at the front entrance which I reduced to the smallest opening. I also closed off the top entrance just to reduce the possibility of robbers or any thing else that may want to get in there and take over.
Any help would be appreciated.