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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    I have asked this before, I just wanted to clarify or maybe get some hints. I am moving 1.5-2 km from my place in a very treed/residential area to a big field.
    I know it's best to move bees further then bring them back but that may not be an option with all the bears around (fencing and finding someone willing)
    If I move them at night, add some attractant to the hives (lemon balm oil?) keep them locked in for 72 hours then release, will enough bees stay to keep the hives going? If so- is there something extra I should feed them while locked in?
    I have one extra brood box that I can leave to capture bees that go back to the wrong place- if capturing will actually help them learn. One of the three hives could use some more bees (recent swarm not growing fast).

    I am going to put up a sign to try to find someone who may accept the bees at their place for a week, but nothing is guaranteed.
    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    I would go ahead and move the 2 strong hives one late evening after the field force has returned, letting the stragglers combine with the weak hive the next day. Then after a week or so, move the weak one on a cool night, thereby only losing the Stragglers and returnees from one hive, rather than three. Most will notice the new surroundings the morning after moving and make their location flights then. Only a few will return to the original site. Most found at the original site are ones who did not come home the night you moved them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    has anyone tried waiting for long periods of inclimate weather to try a move like this? does it help any?
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    York, South Carolina
    Posts
    136

    Post

    Hi Dennis
    I have seem on another post that when you move a hive such as you are trying to do you move them to the new location place some branches against the front of the hive (sorta heavy on the brnches) and that will force the bees to do a reorentation flight the establishing the new lication as home.
    I have tried this and it worked for me and I only move them about 100 ft.
    Hope this helps
    gerald

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Post

    I move them 100 yards or so all the time with just the tree branch method mentioned above (and mentioned in all the ABC XYZ of beeculture editions I own). The distance you have in mind is probably the worst distance to move them because it's far enough that they will never find the new hive by circling from the old, but they will find their way back to the old hive.

    I'd probably do the branch thing and then check back at the old location that night and put an empty box there if there are bees and after dark move them next to the new hive's location and put a branch in front of that box too. After a day I bet you won't find any going back to the old location.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Posts
    311

    Post

    If there is a flow on, you have even less worries.
    Move at night, nevermind the lemon balm and the 72 hours. As Barney and Mr. Bush mentioned, use branches or pinwheels as location markers. I would leave my weakest hive at the old location for an extra day to pick up straglers, but if only 1 or 2 k away, the ladies will figure it out.
    J

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    Thanks! I like the idea of leaving the weakest as it could use more bees.
    Can someone explain the branches part? Should the branches obstruct the openings, or are they placed so that the bees will take notice of a change on the way out- then reorientate altogether when leaving the hive? Anything on the branches will be a big help. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Post

    When I was in the army, they taught us to camouflage with branches. We could see and shoot out, but were almost completely covered. Think like that. Give them light and openings to travel, but thick enough to not be in the open.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Post

    The point is to partially obstruct the opening which forces the field bees leaving to assess the situation and reorient becuase they see a change in the landmarks. They may ignore them if there isn't something obvious. Otherwise they just go into autopilot and fly out to the field they know of by landmarks they recognize and then navigate back to the old location by familar landmarks. You need to trigger reorientation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    That makes perfect sense. Will try it out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    651

    Post

    I just moved my bees about forty yard a few weeks ago and was not aware of what could happen. All my field bees came back to the old location. After recieveing much need advice from forum I used the branh method and it worked for me. (however my first mistake got all my hive out of ther original balance.) So if you have a weak hive indeed leave it at the old site to pick up stragglers.

    Thanks again everyone!!!
    sc-bee

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

    Post

    I moved two hives less than one mile this summer using the branch method and it worked just fine. Went back 2 days later to the old site and found somewhere around 5 bees flying around the sites of the old hives.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Post

    Is it best to move hives in the evening? I have a few to move and it makes sense to do it later since that's the best time to hive swarms???

    Also...since I'm a real lightweight I can't strap hives together to move, but must move a box at a time. What should I expect to happen? Do I need smoke? Should I seal entrances with screen???? I will probably even have to transfer frames to empty boxes on my tractor if they are really heavy. Normally hubby does this, but is gone this week.
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Post

    >Is it best to move hives in the evening?

    If you can move in one piece, yes.

    >Also...since I'm a real lightweight I can't strap hives together to move, but must move a box at a time. What should I expect to happen?

    If you do it after dark expect to be in the hospital from excessive stings.

    If you do it during the day, it's no problem, but you will have some field bees to catch in an empty box and take over after dark.

    I usually have no help and do it a box at a time.

    > Do I need smoke?

    Of course.

    > Should I seal entrances with screen????

    If you're moving it a box at a time, a short distance, just keep a lid on it while you're moving it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    651

    Post

    "If you do it after dark expect to be in the hospital from excessive stings."

    Amen,Michael!!!!
    Been there done that (but it is confusing when they teach that in beginner classes, moving at night.) Do'nt belive I'll go that route again. Although not applicable in all climates, here in the south we have something called a rattlesnake that my mentor says loves the heat coming off the bottom of a hive in the low country. How do you spell CARDIAC ARREST!!!
    sc-bee

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Post

    Of course I meant if you move thema box at a time after dark. If you can close them up tight and move them in one peice while they are closed up after dark it works great.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Iddee wrote:
    "I would go ahead and move the 2 strong hives one late evening after the field force has returned, letting the stragglers combine with the weak hive the next day...."

    Excellent advice Iddee!
    Another tip, when moving hives and leaving some hives behind. The hives can be sealed and moved during mid morning to early evening depending on how much you wish to strengthen the weak colony.

    I suspect that a weak colony in Canada during mid July might be a concern, so a move during the daytime might be something to consider. It is also safer moving bees when you are able to see. When I screen bees at night, I generally wait till morning to move them so I can see what I am doing.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    This is going to be really interesting. As I also wouldn't be able to lift my two largest colonies alone, I'll separate and restack them in my truck right beside where they have been. Later in the day - when settles a bit I'll drive them off to the new site.
    Then the smaller hives can reap the excess bees until there is time to move them also. Each being in one box I can easily move them into the truck late evening once all the bees are back. I have no idea when our honey flows are but I'm sure they'll just about pack two boxes by Halloween.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

    Post

    Do you have a trailer that you could use or borrow? I found it to be fairly easy to move mine this spring along (even after recent back surgery) using a trailer with ramps. Strap the hives together after closing them. Use a hand cart for the moving and let it do most of the work. I placed a small piece of plywood on the bottom of the hand cart before sliding it under the hives as I use SBB, that kept the bottom of the hand cart from pushing up through the SBB. I was also able to place the trailer and ramps in such a position that the trailer/ramps were at a smaller incline (sitting on a slightly sloped surface rather than flat) which made getting the hives into the trailer much easier. The hives were two deeps and 1 medium (the medium filled with honey/sugar water) and I really had no problems at all.

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