I opened my hive today in preparation for winter... over the past few weeks the hive has been booming! the queen has been profusely laying and every inch of the brood chamber was packed! i put some medium boxes on a few weeks ago to give them a bit more space... but today i opened the hive to get it prepared for winter. The two medium boxes of drawn frames had lot of nectar in them, a few capped cells of honey and lots of activity but in preparation for winter i needed to remove those boxes so they can keep the hive temperature ok during the cooler months.
The queen is perfect - she is reducing the size of the brood nest and there are still plenty of capped brood cells, pupae and also new eggs. There's also a lot of empty cells that the workers are starting to fill with nectar for winter stores - there are also some nice pollen stores. I'm confident that i don't need to provide any supplementary feeding as there are two frames (frames 1 & 8) that are chockers and all of the others range between 40-50% full of honey. .
My question is this - i took the two medium boxes off without shaking the bees out. I just set them on a base to the side of the hive with a lid and i'm going to let them take the nectar out of the two medium boxes and take it back to the main hive. My wonder is - as i didnt shake the bees off the frames will they realise that they're no longer part of the main hive? will they instinctively return to the main hive at sunset?