I dropped by my hives this morning to reduce the entrances. I left them fully open yesterday afternoon so that the bees had an easier time finding their new home. I didn’t want to leave it open too long though because I didn’t want to have any robbing problems. When I got there at about 10:30 or so, there was plenty going on at the hives. There were a good number of bees both at the entrance and flying around the front of the hives. I watched them for a bit and didn’t see anything that looked like robbing (fighting, etc). Maybe the flying around was orientation flights, I’m not sure.
I put on my full jacket, veil, and gloves this time when I went up to the hives. I figured that they might now feel like the hive was home and feel more of a need to defend it. In addition, I was going to need to be messing around at the entrance. There should be guard bee there and me messing with my entrance reducer (and bolt) might bother them. As it turned out, I was just fine. Once again, no stings (to either me or my gloves, jacket, etc.). I did have to keep moving bees away from the entrance so that I could swing the reducer into position. Even my pushing them around didn’t seem to bug them too much. In addition to the opening, there is also a 1/4″ hole (for a larger opening setting). As soon as I move the reducer into position, a few bees came popping out the hole. They fit through a 1/4″ hole, but it looks like a reasonably tight fit. It looks a little humorous watching them pop their heads out, then pull themselves through.
Here is the hive with the reducer in place.