Thanks for your suggestions. I'll probably look into the cost of renting an actual truck. If the professor is serious about moving the hives, she'll probably have to pay to ship someone's car. Off hand the lab members own a Mini Cooper, Prius, small Scion, and a 12 year old Corolla, but it might be fun to watch one of those try to tow an open trailer with 6 hives . . .
Our research mostly deals with individual bees, some dissection, and some small scale live bee experiments in incubators. We spend a lot of time pulling almost mature pupae out of capped cells, so need hives nearby. The lab is moving to Austin, and I for one will be happy to not have to keep a nuc in the greenhouse over the winter for a small supply of live bees.