One day in late September, we observed unusual activity outside of both hives. The bees appeared to be swarming, but it was an aggressive behavior; not quite what one would expect with swarming. This led us to believe that the bees were being either robbed or were absconding. A few days later we went into the hives to check. Here's what we found:
- No bees were left in either hive
- All honey stores (one full super per hive) were completely gone, and only comb was left behind
- No swarm cells, queen cups or unusual looking cells
- No capped brood, larva or eggs
- Silk webs and wax moths (likely overthrew the hive after the bees abandoned)
These strange findings led us to believe that the bees absconded, leaving behind honey stores which were then robbed. We were able to harvest about 25 frames of beeswax, and cleaned up the rest of the frames and supers to use later.
The picture above shows wax moth silk.
The picture above shows the harvested containers of wax that will be melted down and filtered for candles and lip balm.