Can old bees learn a new entrance procedure?
We covered the top entrance to the beehives yesterday. After the problems for the last two years with spotty honey stores and pollen inside the honey supers we decided that this top entrance would be limited to the winter season only. It was fairly cool yesterday and not many bees were out, so when we covered it, not too many were confused.
Today they all left from the bottom entrance (no reducer), but when they return they still seem to be lost and can't find their way back in. Notice the big pile near the black duct tape covering the upper entrance on the hive on the left. This hive is our survivor colony from last year. (They have never known anything but a top entrance.)
The new colony is in the hive on the right. They were installed one week ago and have an entrance reducer. The top entrance was open for the first week, but they seem to have adjusted quickly.