The bees are gone. As I had worried earlier in the Spring, they were dead and mostly moved out. the recent activity was that of scavenger or robber bees. It must not have bee-n meant to bee. Sorry, couldn't help myself. :)
We had a wonderful time cleaning out the hive though. Jill and Sean of Blue Gate CSA brought equipment and experience, yet we got two trash bags full of bees wax that will be processed into candles and wax blocks. Cool. Jill also gave Lil'Bug a story that she has really held on to this week, about the moon and the sun fighting. Trust me that she needed it.
We are grateful to Jill and Sean for more than this afternoon, so much more. We met them years ago at a Farm Crawl, Sean gave us a tour of his bees. Then last year, as we were moving down here to their neck of the woods, they invited us for apple cider (and for us to ask all sorts of questions about all sorts of farm things). When I have a question about local things from when to plant, soap, propane, ect.....I shoot Jill an email and always get an answer. Lil'Bug and Blueberry adore them and they make us love living here even more. So a HUGE thank you to them.