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When do bees retire at night

I was just wondering, during the last couple of days I noticed bearding well after dark. The nights have been quite warm, around 25c
I have been waiting for all the bees to disappear in the brood hive at night.
I want to close the entry for a few hours at night so I can make some changes which means moving the hives to an temporary position, 2 metres away, so I can complete the work and then place the hives back to their original position and open them up again.
So the question is, what are the conditions required for all the bees to move into the hive at night ?
Are they likely do this at dusk or when completely dark ?
I have a couple of guard bees in the hive that take their job very seriously and i don’t want to play hide and seek with them while I work in the area, if you know what I mean.
Still have a lot to learn. Cheers, G

I have been out to my apiary as late as 11pm just to check on how much bearding is happening and still seeing similar numbers around the entrance as around sunset if it is a warm night.
Maybe try hitting the bees with smoke at the entrance and I think you will find the bees will go inside. Best to use a red torch if you need extra light. I have good results with that trick.
Cheers George

I think you’ll find that on a cold night, most bees will be inside earlier.

Temperature, nectar flow and population number variables. I’ve had to go out at 3am to lock up some of my hives in summer.

Hi Peter, thanks for that.
I think I will leave it for while till the days and nights get a bit cooler.
Hopefully next week forecast looks better.
Did not know about the red light, will give that a try.
Cheers, G

Hi @Zzz next week should be cooler if the forecasts are correct, I will wait till then. Cheers, G

Hi Adam, wow, getting up at 3am I assume they were all tucked in at that time. Maybe I will have to do the same. Next week forecast is for cooler weather, I will wait till then. Cheers, G

If you can hold the job off till a cooler night you will find less bee hanging about outside. I find a whiff of smoke over any bees outside and they will all head inside straight away. They are much more compliant than in daylight when some decide to fly about.

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Hi George, I think you might be better off closing them in very early in the morning, and work then, rather waiting at night. As Adam said, it depends on many variables what time they call it a day.

Keen to see your platform. I should have done one myself, or at least made a long stand that can take four hives, so I have space between the hives to rest the super when inspecting.

As you know when you came here, my ‘apiary’ is not very comfy. The ground is very uneven and digging holes for footings up here is back breaking, it’s just rocks.

Is it all that important to do the job while it’s still hot? I would wait until, as @Peter48 suggests, it cools down. In the meantime you could move the hive one foot every day until it is out of the way. Then move it back one foot every day until it’s in the right spot.

An easy way to move a hive is on 2 wooden rails. You could make a long stand by using besser blocks & hardwood rails. All you have to do then is slide the hive one foot every day.

Bees don’t like being closed in, they love to be able to move air around in the hive. Closing them in restricts them from being able to do that. During daylight hours, bees want to get out to fly. That further restricts the movement of air because the bees trying to get out blocks the airway. During hot weather, that can kill a colony, going by personal experience.

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