I need to change the entrance location on one of the hives I keep off the back porch.
Halfway through winter, a piece of duck tape that covered a hole in the hive fell off. That hole face directly onto the deck. And of course, the bees decided they much prefer that entrance to the old one at the bottom facing out the other side.
I left it alone as I did not want to add any stress or confusion during the few warm days they had for cleansing flights. And now the bees have clearly oriented to this hole. Almost to the complete exclusion of the other entrance.
I want to shift them back before it becomes a problem.
I was just going to cover the hole back up and let them figure it out. But our nights are still pretty cold. And the bees are just starting to haul water, and pollen yesterday....I think they need aer the long winter and late spring.
Best to wait for steady warmth?
Do it and stop worrying too much?
Rotate the hive slowly(this would be abit of a pain) over a few days?
I guess the main question is how much of a disturbance will forcing the entrance shift create?
I'd just duct tape again overnight and seal the hole back up. It might cause some confusion on the landings for a day or two, but they will adapt quickly and within two weeks they should be back to using the other entrance exclusively.
I say wait until this next cold front comes through, we are supposed to have snow in the morning here in Ohio. Then seal the hole back up. The bees will be in the hive for at least a couple of days and should re-orient without a problem.
The sooner that hole is barely big enough for one bee, the more bees will look for another entrance... I agree it's a problem to just close it when it's still cold at night. You could time it to close it on a night it's supposed be 60 F or so and the bees shouldn't die from the cold and will have all night to figure it out.
A tin can lid makes a good cover for a hole in a box. A couple of tacks to hold it on and it's fairly permanent.
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