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Thread: moving my bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    charleston,West Virginia, usa
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    22

    Default moving my bees

    I am a brand new beekeeper. I placed my hive in an area where neighbors are complaining, so they must be moved. My mentor says we can do it using the branch method and I've read several accounts online of folks who have had success doing it this way. Has anyone out there tried it and not had their bees reorient and end up back at the original location? I would hate to lose my bees , and even worse, end up with disoriented mad bees at the problem location. The area I want to move them to is less than a mile away.
    Mushgirl

  2. #2

    Default

    I'm not familiar with the method you mention, but I would wait until night, close up the entrance to the hive, move it and then reopen the entrance. That way all foragers are in and they will reorient themselves in the morning.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Yes I just moved three hives app. 200 yards this week, the branch method works well.
    Use a branch that has leaves on them. The method I used, I went to the hives the day before and screened up any vent holes and strapped down the hives so they don’t come apart during transit. Then early in the morning before the bees start flying. I screened the entrances and moved the bees.
    I let the settle down for a few hours, then smoked them back and removed the entrance screens. Putting a leafy branch on the entrance it should be thick enough that they have to fly around it and take notice of it.
    You might see a few stragglers flying around the old location but most will be seen re-orienting on the new location. You can see this when the bee flies out they will circle around getting there bearings and fly off. You should also see bees returning with nectar and pollen.
    If you want to wait one complete sun cycle before you release them this will virtually eliminate stragglers from returning the old site.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default

    Brent,

    Waiting one sun cycle has never eliminated them returning to their original home for me. I have moved nucs in winter when they haven't flown for days and on the first flying day still found a couple dozen back at the old homestead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    charleston,West Virginia, usa
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    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    Brent,

    Waiting one sun cycle has never eliminated them returning to their original home for me. I have moved nucs in winter when they haven't flown for days and on the first flying day still found a couple dozen back at the old homestead.
    Even though a few dozen came back, would you say all in all you have had success using the branch method?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Wink

    Beedeetee:
    I can only speak from my own experience, perhaps the bees in WA are more stubborn or better navigators. The real key is something that makes them take notice that something is different and they need to take another bearing prior to departing .
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default Works well, see picture...

    It does work well. See the photo in this link and put your branch this close or perhaps just a little closer. This was a hive moved into the fence last year, moved about 40 feet, and no stragglers that I could find back at the old 'base camp'.

    Oh, also, this works well for moving them.

    Good luck, and post some pictures for us.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
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    2,115
    Good example of branch placement. I just stick it in the ground but whatever method work. When they have to fly around and threw it they take a new look at their location.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Silverado, CA
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I had the same eviction problem. I moved my hive about dusk, and used the branch method like MB mentions. I did not revisit the old location, but the hive is going strong, so I think it worked fine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    charleston,West Virginia, usa
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    Default

    May I ask why you put your bees inside a fence? I'm thinking of moving mine near my woods and was wondering about critters.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mushgirl View Post
    May I ask why you put your bees inside a fence? I'm thinking of moving mine near my woods and was wondering about critters.
    Got bears? Get a fence.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default Fence is a necessity...

    Quote Originally Posted by mushgirl View Post
    May I ask why you put your bees inside a fence? I'm thinking of moving mine near my woods and was wondering about critters.
    Never ever ever ever assume that you're safe from bears. See this thread.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218327

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    The only yard I keep a fence around is at my home, which is located in a subdivision. It's a white PVC picket fence that obviously isn't there to keep anything in and wouldn't likely keep anything out. It is however a friendly sign that says keep out to passers by, without the need for alarming "Warning" signs around. It also adds a little appeal to the 20 or 30 hives in a development that would normally just be a pile of boxes sitting in the yard.

    My stands are built in such a way that small animals aren't a problem at any location. And since bear is a rare occurence in the GA piedmont, I think it would be much more cost effective to replace a dozen hives once every 20 years than it would be to try to maintain a fort around them.

    Everyone has their problems where ever they may be and plan accordingly.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

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