I don't have personal knowledge of whether sage fits this category, but some flowers are the wrong size for certain bees to enter the flower and collect nectar in a normal fashion.
In some cases, bumblebees puncture a lower part of the flower so they can access the nectar, and then honeybees use that same puncture to also collect nectar. Here is a reference:
You may be seeing honeybees using punctures in the base of the flowers originally made by a different species.
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft