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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
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    5

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    Hi, I searching for an answer for this question: I'm moving to a new farm in Iowa about 15 miles away from the old farm. Move happens in the end of October. Can I move a hive or do I have to leave it until spring? What should I be concerned about? Any resource info?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

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    I wouldn't move them if they are clustered from the cold. They can fall to the bottom board and suffocate or just die from cold. If you get some warm weather I wouldn't worry about it. I always put something in front of the entrance to force them to reorient when they fly out the door. Something that reminds them to pay attention to where they are. Like a branch or something.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    5

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    So-You mean place a branch of some type outside the door at their new site so they will immediately know that their environment is different? Fascinating. Does the vibration from movement have any effect on the bees themselves--for example--does it make them disoriented? I guess bees get moved all the time-I was wondering if their lessened activity in October made them more susceptible to such problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

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    As I said, the only real problem is if it is cold enough that they need to cluster and trhough the bouncing of the trip, the cluster ends up on the bottom board.

    The bouncing of the trip usually leaves them in a disheartened and tractable state, but I wouldn't count on it. It's possible, but not likely that they will be angry. They probably start off angry but after a while they kind of give up. Of course this is a function of how agressive the bees are to start with combined with how long and how bumpy the drive is.

    Yes, the branch just catches their attention as they leave and they do an orientation to figure out the lay of the land around the hive and that's when they discover that they've been moved.

    Since I usually end up moving them by myself, I usually use a little trailer and put the trailer next to the old hive location and load the hive on the trailer a box at a time (it ends up with the bottom box on top and the top box on the bottom) during the day and strap and nail it together. The returning field bees will find it since it's only a couple of feet from the original location. That night I close it up and the next morning I drive to the new location and unload it a box at a time which puts them back in the normal order again and then put a branch in front of the hive and leave.

    It's nice if you have enough help, to nail and strap it together the day before, close it up that night and load it in one piece. Drive to the new location and unload it in one peice, put a branch in front of it and open the entrace back up. But the help that it takes to do this is a luxuary that I seldom have.

    One of the concepts of moving them is to try not to leave the field bees behind. That means you don't close up until after dark. Of course if the hive is really strong and you don't mind boosting other hives at the old location with bees from the hive you're moving, you can just load it up and move it and the field bees will drift to other hives when they return and can't find home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    seems to me,when i move bees,once you put them into the truck and have the engine on,the vibration seems to calm them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Post

    Moving bees in California, cold should not be a problem

    Ian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

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    I don't know what part of California Farmartist is from, or how cold it gets, but if the bees are flying it's warm enough to move them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

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    Now I'm confused. I originally thought you were in Iowa, then I looked at your profile and it says you're from California. Are you moving your bees from Caliafornia to Iowa or from a farm in Iowa to a place 15 miles away?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    5

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    I'm from CA, but researching a question for a friend, possibly a to small essay. I am looking for info in a number of different resources. I think the practical info here is terrific.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    165

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    Moving bees really shouldn't be a problem. We do it in all kinds of weather. Closing the entrance is not necessary and certainly not desireable in hot weather. Smoke them good and set them on the truck. Tie them down so they don't slide around. Like Hoosier Hiver says, they stay calm on the truck. Smoke them when you get to your destination and unload. We prefer to move them when it's cold.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

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    If the weather is hot, I either put a screen on top ( a double screen board nailed on will work if you already have one or you can make a frame of 2 x 2's and cover it with screen and nail it on) and/or a screen door. (Brushy Mt sells them or you can make them easily enough). But I still close it off. A lot of bees can get lost on the way with the entrance wide open, not to mention the poor people at any place you stop being harrased by the bees. You can also just cut some #8 hardware cloth and a small strip of screen molding or a piece of 3/4" wide wood ripped to anything from 3/4" to 1/4" thick and staple the hardware cloth over the entrance with the wood to stiffen it on top. It won't ventilate as well as the screen door, but will allow a ventilation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    Bees will not be lost unless you stop someplace. Stop signs and normal traffic stops are not a problem.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I use screened bottom boards, so last weekend I just put duct tape over the entrance, the ratchet strap around the hive and put them in the back of the Durango.

    It was too cold to fly when I picked them up and it got up to mid fifties that day, no problems. Plan to move four more next weekend the same way.

    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Thanks for all the great replies!

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