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Thread: Hive relocation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    E. TN
    Posts
    116

    Question

    I've got a hive that I need to move from my neighbors property about 100-150 yds. away. I've heard about the 1 ft. or 1 mi. rule of thumb. I've located a place a few miles away I can move it to temporarily. How long should I keep it there before moving it to my property?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oceano, California, USA
    Posts
    467

    Post

    Since a few thousand (plus or minus) bees are born and die each day in a hive this time of year, every day you are willing to wait up till 3 weeks or so will probably save some bees. If you can only use the new location 2 weeks, your hive should still be fine.

    Be sure to check to make sure the queen is alright after you finally move the hive back.

    Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    I've always gone by the two feet - two mile rule when I have to move bees. You definately
    want to move the bees out of their current foraging range. I'd say three weeks would be fine. Now I have also heard that some people "takes the bees for a ride", meaning they load up the truck (AT NIGHT, all the bees are inside- DFV 8/11/02)and then drive around for a half hour or so. They drive a good 5 to 10 miles away from the site. They say that you can then move the bees shorter distances. I think they also said something about putting a board or something in front of the hive to confuse the bees when they came out the next day.
    I know I read it on the internet,(So it has to be true!)
    I'll search around and see if I can located the source.

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited August 08, 2002).]

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited August 11, 2002).]

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited August 11, 2002).]

  4. #4
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Cool

    Hello,
    Just move the bees to your house. Reduce the entrance for a few days. The only bees that you will lose are the old field bees that you would have lost anyway if you moved to new location. The "text book" way is not always the best way.
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    E. TN
    Posts
    116

    Post

    Interesting variation of replies. Seeing how there isn't much activity at all at this time due to dry weather and no blooms, would there be much effect on the field bees?
    Also when I move them I was planning on removing the super of honey( which is going to be their winter stores) to make it easier. Is it OK to place the whole super in the freezer until I get them settled where I want them?

  6. #6
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Cool

    Hello EMAN,
    Glad you see my point, no nectar flow-fewer field bees. Most of your field bees are old, just leftovers waiting to die. You are not going to reduce the population past normal just with a simple 100+ yard move. Yes, if the hive is too heavy remove the honey off the top. No need to freeze, just keep it from being robbed (put it between two telescoping covers if you have them). Then move your bees and put the honey back on. Moving to another location just lets the same old field bees die off, and now you pick the hive up twice.
    Kevin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oceano, California, USA
    Posts
    467

    Post

    Kevin, I must take issue with you. Describing field bees as old bees just waiting to die is irresponsible.

    Field bees are what make you honey.

    By putting you hive in a truck and driving around, you are losing field bees.

    By moving your hive 100 yards or so you are losing field bees.

    If you move your bees to a new location in the night or early morning, wait for a few week, then move them to your new location in the night or early morning, you will not lose the bees who make you honey.

    As to the super, there is no need to put in in the freezer. Just make sure that bees can't get into it.

    Tim

    [This message has been edited by Tim Vaughan (edited August 09, 2002).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,131

    Post

    What I would do is this. Close up the hive after dark (all the bees are there). Move directly to the new location. Put some brush in front of the entrance. Open up the hive. If you watch the next morning, when the bees come out they will be disoriented by the brush. They will circle the hive to get their bearings, they will quickly recognize landmarks they have seen before, because you haven't moved that far and after a morning of confusion they will settle into the new location quite well. It's possible some bees will return to the old location for a couple of days, but they all know their way home because of the reorienting flight triggered by the brush at the entrance. I've done this many times.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    As to the box of honey, I'd move it the afternoon before. I'd take it and an extra bottom and top and put in next to the new location. That night move the rest of the hive next to it. The next morning after the bees are out put them back together. What bees fly off from the box of honey that afternoon will just go back to the old hive and get moved that night and the ones that are "hive bees" and stay will be reunited the next morning.

  10. #10
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Cool

    Hello Tim,
    Sorry, but you have MISSED the point altogether. The nectar flow is OVER. No more honey is going to be made by the OLD field bees. There is a severe drought going on. Yes, you can move your bee miles away-but guess what, the OLD field bees are going to die. It is the new HOUSE bees (after your weeks in a new location) that you are moving back. So nothing was gained by moving. Michael has agreed with me and I would do just as he posted, except watch out for robbing of the honey super. Also Tim this is not a forum for bashing people, we state our opinions and it is up to the readers to find out what works for them in their area. Move the bees or don't, you will get experence either way.
    Kevin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    E. TN
    Posts
    116

    Post

    Didn't want to start an argument, just a discussion.
    As far as leaving a honey super I don't think that would work. I've learned this lesson the hard way this year. Maybe it is because it is such a poor year for nectar. I had a couple of frames with wild comb in them from a hive that had no foundation. I put it in a rubbermaid tub with the lid that I thought would prevent any robbing. I had bees from all over worked into a frenzy. I am not going to do that again and that is why I mentioned using the freezer.
    The late flow if there is any will be in Sept. so I might try the move the hive and place the brush in frt. trick.
    The difference of opinions and different methods of beekeeping is what makes a forum like this interesting and educational. Obviously there is not just one way to manage bees and that's what makes it interesting. Every hive seems to react differently and the bees obviously have never read the book on how they should be kept.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,131

    Post

    Maybe I should have been more specific about what I would do with the super. I'm talking about moving it with bees still in it a couple of hours before dark. Right after dark I've moved the other hive. As soon as the sun is up and the bees are active I'd reunite the two. They won't hardly notice they've been seperated. Since there are still bees in the super, I never have had a problem in this short of a time span with robbing.

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