See the bees at the base of this hive? They are trying to rob honey from their neighbor. Robbing usually happens when there are no other nectar sources and the bees seek other alternatives. I induced this robbing by leaving this weak hive open too long while looking for the deadly (to bees) small hive beetle. Robbing usually happens at the hive entrance. But because I have a screened bottom board on this hive, they think they can sneak in through a back door. They can’t, but there are plenty more at the entrance on the other side.
Yes, I found a number of hive beetles, so this hive is likely a goner. I have lost at least five of my thirteen hives to the hive beetle this year. In the next few weeks I’ll be trying some non-toxic methods for dealing with this critter.