Bearding all winter

Hi all, I need to move my hive, and in the past I’ve just waited till dusk and taped over the entrance. However, my bees will not stop mass bearding, even though it is winter here. I added another brood layer a few months ago, I’ve tried smoking them. Nothing seems to work. I guess I could suit up, tape over and suffer the loss of several hundred bees. Any other ideas?

I have a couple of thoughts. Do your bees have access to the roof cavity? If not, you could give them access to it. That might give the extra bees somewhere to occupy, instead of bearding.

The second thought is: Is your entrance reduced". If it is, you could try opening it up to allow more cold air into the hive, that should make more bees pack around the brood to keep it warm. Removing the bottom tray as well as opening up the rear vent should also allow more cold air into the hive, forcing more bees to pack around the brood.

I’m surprised that smoke doesn’t drive the bees in. Try more smoke over a longer period of time to see if that works. That should work. Bees need to gorge on honey when there is a threat of a fire approaching