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I trapped a colony about 4 weeks ago and took them down to ground level about 2 weeks ago. They had capped brood when I transferred them to a 10 frame deep. Yesterday I moved them about 5 hundred yards as soon as it was light enough to see. I had closed up the hive the night before so I would have all the foragers inside. I laid a large leafy branch across the opening after I opened them up. Thought all was well, even thought I saw the bees doing orientation flights. Seems to be foragers coming and going. Went back to woods to pick up plywood and feeder from trap site and there was a large number of bees there. They were not very happy. Got stung a few times. There was 1/2 fist sized cluster on a piece of old barbed wire. Watched them for a while and started thinking there might be a queen in the cluster. Got suited up and got a frame of old comb out out of the freezer. Put that in 5 frame nuc and shook the cluster into the nuc box. The other bees just started streaming into the opening. I'm sure time will tell but just wondering what happened. What happens to foragers that return to the old site. Do they eventually die? Or do they get taken in by other colonies? I plan on keeping an eye on both sites. Should I have just let nature take its course? I can't very well leave the 10 frame in the woods forever. And I can't take them 2 miles away. Moving 2 feet a day doesn't seem a practical solution. Criticism and comments welcome.
 

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I close my hives in the early morning before sunrise instead of night. Foragers that did not make it home by dark will return once they have enough light to see. You can try to collect the stragglers or let them expire. If it is a small cluster, I wouldn't worry about it. Foragers are the oldest workers, anyway.
 

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I'd leave a box at the old site, and each evening dump the returnees into the box at the new location. Maybe get a little more "agressive" with the obstacle course outside the new hive, to increase the likelihood of them reorienting properly.

I expect in 3-4 days they will done.
 
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