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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Borden, In
    Posts
    98

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    A Farmer here in my area rent about 10 hives for orchard & berry production. The farm is about 600 acres all in one area. He is moving the hives to a new field of what ever is blooming at the time, maybe ever 2 to 3 weeks. With a farm that small is this necessary? The moves would be less than a 1/4 mile each.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    256

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    move not necessary, they'll fly up to 2 miles. Maybe put them in the center of it all!
    AKA BEEMAN800

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    1,914

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    when I move a hive, I don't move it less than 3 miles (unless only moving a foot or two) as some bees will remember their old homesite and fly there. The next time he moves the hives, someone could hang out at the old site to see how many get lost and return there.

    Not only might he be no good by moving, but he might actually be doing harm.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

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    He's actually doing more harm than good because the field workers would return to the old location if moved less than 2 miles. I will say with buckwheat you need to move them in right at the beginning of bloom otherwise they'll fly over it for any other bloom that's available. You'c still want move from more than 2 miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

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    The expression is "Less than two feet or more than two miles." Anything else and you lose the very bees that are contributing to what you want done. Foragers.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

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    >The expression is "Less than two feet or more than two miles."

    I thought it was "Less than three feet or more than three miles." Whatever. The principle is the same.

    With 600 acres to cover it might be appropriate to distribute them at the start, and then leave them. Maybe in pairs. You might not get complete coverage if you plop down 10 hives in one place, though that's probably what I'd do- put `em smack in the middle.

    Studies have shown that colonies competing for the same forage tend to divey up the area between them. There's a good section in H & H about pollination.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,408

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    There is no reason to move them less than two miles to get to the blooms since they'll fly there anyway. There ARE reasons to move a hive a hundred yards. Usually the beekeepers convenience is the reason, and I do it all the time if I have a good reason. Just put a branch in front of the hive to force them reorient. Remove ALL the equipment so they aren't tempted to try to go back and then, just before dark, if there are stragglers accumulating, put an empty box there and then after dark move it next to the new place with a branch again.

    They will forage the 8,000 acres around them, so it's kind of silly to move them around within that 8,000 acres and keep confusing them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

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    > There is no reason to move them less than two
    > miles to get to the blooms

    While this may be a general truth, I move hives
    every summer to get them smack in the middle
    of sourwood "groves", and this does result in
    a better crop of sourwood than would result from
    merely placing the hives somewhere easier to
    get to, but further away from the trees.

    I think that there are two reasons why this
    is so, flight time and fuel consumption.
    Bees flying further will consume more upon
    their return to the hive, and will thereby
    reduce the net crop. Second, a longer
    round-trip travel time means fewer sorties
    per day, and less nectar with the same foraging
    force. But the big reason is the higher
    assurance that a "unifloral crop" will be
    much more "unifloral". I have to get them away
    from the clovers if I want as close to 100%
    sourwood as I can get.

    So, I >>DO<< move hives within their own
    reasonable flight range.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,782

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    I guess it depends on how easy it is for that beekeeper/farmer to move their hives.

    Straight dab in the middle, or here there and everywhere, will always will provide more uniform pollination. But heavey akward lifting, single man operations and no mechanical advatages will quickly narrow the keepers thought to how efficient, the "most efficient" actually is.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

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    When you move a hive and they have to re-orient or you force them to do so by placing something in front of them, they start their search for forage from scratch.

    If you want them to work your newly blooming crop, this move and forced re-orientation will greatly improve the results.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Borden, In
    Posts
    98

    Post

    This Farmer just moves a wagon with all 10 hives on it, no lifting at all.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,782

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    Well there you go.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Athens, Ill
    Posts
    141

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    At the last bee-meeting I ws told that if you confine the bees for 2 days it causes them to reorient. I have yet to see anyone else have this opinion. What say ya'll?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

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    > I ws told that if you confine the bees for 2 days it causes them to reorient. I have yet to see anyone else have this opinion. What say ya'll?

    48 hours will probably have some effect. 72 hours confinement will force them to reorient, but then so does a branch in front of the entrance. It's hard to confine a booming hive for 72 hours without some damage, especially in the summer.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,212

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    How do you confine them without over heating them? I'm assuming that we are talking about blossom time when it can get warm. A time when the bees really want to forage and therefore will, probably really build up heat.

    So you've confined them for two days. Now what makes them go to the crop that you want them to pollinate? Unless that is the predominant thing in bloom for miles aren't you going to get only partial pollination? Do you really expect to get more pollination on the other crop just because you confined them? It seems to me that the renegade foragers who aren't already working the first crop are going to get the colony to work on the next most appealling source of pollen. The next vegetable flower available. I could be wrong though. You tell me.

    Mark

    Everything works unless something is broke.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,408

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    >How do you confine them without over heating them?

    Precisely.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,212

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    Thanks Michael.

    To answer my own question I'll say this about that.

    A "friend" of mine had to move some hives of bees from Queens,NY(part of New York City) to his home out on Long Island. Now so that you don't get the wrong picture, most of Long Island is suburbia, not the countryside that it used to be. So, you see, this "friend " had to go some distance(20 miles or more) through stop and go traffic and across clogged bridges. He didn't have access to the starting point in the middle of the night when this would have been handy. He had to move them in the morning and or the evening. So he removed the cover and stapled on an empty shallow super with screen stapled on top. He also installed a screen sort of box like unit on the entrance. He duct taped all of the holes. Then he went on his way and everything went swimmingly. Alot of trouble, but it worked.

    Another guy that I know used to take bees 165 miles to the orchards for pollination without netting. He had screens for the entrances. This was pretty effective. Though I don't know why he bothered since we always drove in the evening and the temps were always cool, in mid May. He used to do this to transport his bees to South Carolina too. I can understand doing that before he got nets. That was when we would load a semi with 432 two story colonies by hand. Oh my aching back.

    Mark
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Athens, Ill
    Posts
    141

    Post

    The person I was refering to in my last post was making nucs, he said he'd screen the entrance for 2 days so as to bypass the 2foot<-->2mile rule. I thought he was mistaken, and it was just the nurse bees that remained.

    [size="1"][ December 30, 2005, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Blue.eyed.Wolf ][/size]

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