I had August swarms, some of which are doing well, and a couple that have bees and stores, but no apparant queen activity waiting one more week). I think I'll need to combine a couple of weaker hives into at least one stronger one for the winter. How do you move them into a new (feet not miles) location, and perhaps an east vs. north orientation? I splashed some purple paint onto the front of one to help them find home, will that help? Also considering overwintering as nucs over stronger hives with double screens?
Hi, move the weaker hive a few feet every day till they are right next to the hive to be combined with. The field force will orientate themselves everyday. Then when you combine use newspaper between the two hives with 1-2 inch slits in the paper. This will help the bees in removing the paper. By the time they combine the sent of the two hives will be the same.
I have 18 nucs on top of 18 main hives. I winter them over this way. I use an inner cover with an entrance facing in the opposite direction. Been doing this for years. The hole in the middle of the inner cover I have screened off so the queens can not get at each other. My success rate is about 90%. Do keep in mind that the nuc also needs an inner cover on top so that moisture can escape over the winter.
I just go ahead and move them to the new location in one shot and put a branch in front of the entrance. Face it the same way at first. Then you can turn it 90 degrees and let them get used to that and then another 90 degress and let them get used to that.