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Thread: Moving a hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sumner,Kansas,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Moving a hive

    We captured a swarm early this spring and it is doing well. We had it under a small shed to help protect from the elements and get a good start. Saturday night (after dark) we moved the hive to its permanent location. (about 100 yards away) There is alot of activity around the hive and so far things look good. My question is this, there are about 100-150 bees frantically hanging around on the walls of the shed where the hive was originally. Will they eventually find their hive? What do I need to watch for? Is there anything else I do?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lauderdale County TN USA
    Posts
    387

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    They will find their way home, or you can place a box colored the same in the old location and return them home in the evenings. Or just let them be, most will find there way home, others won't either way its not a big deal, as the queen can replace the lost in a matter of hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sumner,Kansas,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    Can we start a new colony with them in any way? This is probably a no brain question, but I am still very new to all of this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sumner,Kansas,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    These bees are still gathering at the old sight after 2 weeks. If we put out a nuc box with a new queen, could we possible start a new colony?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,327

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    Even a few hundred bees, in most circumstances, even with a good laying queen, are not enough to form the core of a viable colony. Yet, there are things a beekeeper can do to help them to become a viable colony. Such as provide them with frames of honey, pollen, nurse bees and/or emerging brood from other, established colonies.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lauderdale County TN USA
    Posts
    387

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    Pull two frames of brood from the original colony place it in place of the old colony. Add the queen you intend on purchasing after 2 days of being split and remove any queen cells they start to draw out. Feed one to two gallons of syrup to insure they get a decent start on the year or monitor them closely.

    These are veteran foragers that are close to dying. You'll need young nurse bee's etc to start a new colony. You'll obtain all the caste of workers you need by doing a 2 or three frame split. Or you can go right down the middle five by five.

    Or purchase a nuc, but the few hundred foragers you see are too old and nowhere near the strength you need for another colony. I wouldn't place them in the same place or you'll encounter the same problem when you decide to move them also.

    If the amount of bee's lost really disturbs you, next time you move them, move them about 5 feet at a time, or move them more than three miles distant. Honestly though, the number of foragers you'll lose in the move you made are negligible.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    By tomorrow they will all find their way back home although some may still fly back to the old location first and then to the new location.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Morgan County, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    I moved a hive earlier this year and had the same problem. I did it after dark and the next day a few hundred came back to the spot the hive was at. This is also my first year as a beek. I remember feeling so sorry for those poor lost bees. Each day that followed there were less and less bees at the original spot so I assumed they either died or found the new location of the hive. On the third day I captured a swarm and set up the hive in the spot where the old hive was and the few bees that were leftovers joined the swarm hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sumner,Kansas,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Moving a hive

    Thank you all! Being our first year, I was really hating to loose any bees, or at the most, try to salvage those that wouldn't move and start a new colony for cheap. I don't feel comfortable taking from the other hive as I want to ensure it keeps going strong and I would never forgive myself if I took the frames and it affected the colony in a negative way. So I will forget about the bees and just be thankful we still have a thriving hive!!

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