I have read some studies about bees orienting comb to magnetic field lines. I think the conclusions were generally that yes, they do orient to the compass, and no... it doesn't make much difference as far as managing hives. Nothing wrong with changing the hive direction as you suggest, but don't expect them to double their brood raising or honey production.
brood and honey have been about the same in both hives - except for the wonky comb in the very gentle hives.
What I have observed is that the entrance has more to do with what direction they prefer than the magnetic poles of the earth. They like to put combs at an angle to the entrance.
The less gentle and very gentle bees both have langstroth hives though, so the frames are front to back in relation to the entrance
to both - thanks for the replies.