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When I close off one of the entrances, the bees seem to have a hard time figuring out that a foot or two away, on the same exact side as the old entrance, I am giving them a new hole.
 

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I doubt it is a concern. They muddle around the old entrance until one finds the new to them entrance and pretty soon someone is exposing their nasonov gland and calling all the lost souls back in the hive. I worry a lot about changing over from mid entrance to bottom entrance in the spring and I am sure that weaker colonies suffer from it. Bees flying in an entrance are decoys to those looking for theirs. Such times are good for padgening which is an archaic term meaning switching your weakest hives to where the strongest just sat. The field bees from the strong colony instantly augment the population of the weaker colony.

I have always advocated these labor intensive fixes to all beekeeping problems and now as my physical prowess disintegrates, I know they do not sound all that palatable to many. Does not change the fact they work.
 

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Late winter/early spring is a bad time to be monkeying with the entrances.
Due to cool/cold conditions, even few minutes of confusion outside may cost lives to many forages (which are in short supply already).

None of this matters later in the season of course - bees will not be lost then.
 

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I have motivated them a bit when changing entrances around with cloake board etc., by smearing something repulsive to them around the old entrance you have blocked. They are homing on the scent of their original entrance. I have used Vics Vapor Rub, and an arthritis rub that is strong of methyl salicilate (wintergreen). That makes them give up on the old location quite quickly. I am sure the bees hate me at times; surprised I dont get more stings than I do!
 

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When I was making a flyback split this past weekend, I accidentally moved the shim with the upper entrance to the split, instead of leaving it on the parent hive. Did not take long to notice a large cluster of foragers on the parent hive where the entrance used to be. I quickly swaped it back and all was good.
 

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When I was making a flyback split this past weekend, I accidentally moved the shim with the upper entrance to the split, instead of leaving it on the parent hive. Did not take long to notice a large cluster of foragers on the parent hive where the entrance used to be. I quickly swaped it back and all was good.
I think the bees switch from VFR to scent homing for the final!

I found the stinky stuff really good to smear around the rear upper entrance on a Snelgrove board to move them to using the front lower one.
 
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