I have been putting off moving my 1st hive to join the 2nd hive in the Bee House.
Well I went ahead during this yukky weather on the basis the closed hive would not overheat, the cool weather would not encourage them to be active and hey it had to be done. Note: distance between old site and new site about 50 metres, so not far.
I closed up the hive Friday night (with adequate ventilation) and shifted it. I opened the hive Tuesday morning giving it 3 nights and 3 days to loose their memories of the previous site. As a belt and braces boy, I completely covered the front of the with bushes to re-enforce reorientation.
Tuesday morning was not a particularly nice and the bees seemed to want to stay inside. However by afternoon there was activity but it was bees leaving and going to the old site. I left an empty box there to catch stranglers a but I had about 500 or so bees in there by dusk. I quickly put the box on the hive at last light and went back an hour later and removed the catch box as all the bees migrated to the warmth of the brood box. I was very concerned that the move would cause collapse of the hive.
This morning, not only did I find a lot, perhaps 3 cups , of dead bees at the old site and plenty hanging about. Deeper concern.
This afternoon however I was heartened by the activity at the hive entrance. there were bees entering with pollen and (I guess) nectar and there were some doing enthusiastic dances on the entrance platform, so some at least have settled.
Luckily I have a fair bit of blossom out if the rain and wind eases to allow them to forage. I am still getting some bees returning to the old site, however not as many now.
The purpose of this ramble is just reiterate that hive shifting does not always go as planned. Some bees need a lot more than others to force reorientation.
Should I ever need to move a hive a short distance in future, I will do the 3 mile thing and after a week shift it back to the new site.