Ok- I know the rule is 3 miles- so when I moved 2 hives this morning 3.6km I knew there was a theoretical chance bees would return. However I was skeptical. In any case I put out a nuc box with a single frame in it with a bit of honey just in case. I moved the hives at sunrise. I got back home and no bees… about 11am I saw the first one come home and looking confused. Over the day more and more have come- now there are maybe 15. they are going in an out of the nuc. I’m hoping that as the sun sets they will go into the Nuc and cluster on the frame to keep warm? The plan is to then drive them up after dark and put them beside the hives. I hope that they will then exit the nuc and re-enter there home hives in the morning? Or maybe crawl over at night? Will they survive the night? It’s going to drop down to maybe 8c.
It’s kind of absurd to worry about 15 bees but nevertheless I will try and re-unite them with their colonies.
This interesting experience makes me wonder how many bees get lost when a hive is moved. Some made it back home- I wonder how many tried but didn’t make it? And what happens if you move it more than 3 miles? Do some get lost and you just never know? I am guessing yes.
It’s curious as although it’s only 3.6 km it is up a hill and a fair distance to figure out how to get home from.
I also wonder if this will keep happening for a few days…