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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lunenburg County, VA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    I would like information as to how to do this successfully. What time of the day is best? etc.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sumter SC
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    Moving hives 75 feet sounds really easy to do, but there are a few items of interest you need to take care of to make the transition smooth on you and the bees.

    1. The move needs to take place late at night after the bees have quit flying or very early in the morning before they begin flight. Otherwise the bees that have left will return with their load of pollen and/or nectar and will just roam around the area with the hive was located and after a few days disappear or start making comb on an object close by. If the bees are bearding on the outside of the hive, just give them a couple gentle puffs of smoke and they will normally go inside the hive.

    2. Day of the move. Make sure to put a piece of folded over window screen or a moving screen over the entrance, and slide the telescoping cover all the way back if using one to cover the hole in the inner cover. If you don't have the screen for the entrance, since it's such a short move, you can use the closed side of an entrance reducer, or a piece of duct tape. It might be a short move, but it only takes a couple of bees to get out and be stinging you in the process of carrying the hive a make a very bad situation for the persons moving the hive. Heard of complete hives being dropped because of 5 to 10 got out and starting stinging one of the movers on the arm. MAKE SURE to use either the hive nails to join the boxes together or use at least 2 cargo style ratcheting tie down straps per hive. Don't want it coming apart in mid move if you know what I mean.
    3. Don't use a bright flashlight at night to walk up to the hives. Bees tend to come straight for it.

    4. Keep in mind this time of year in the southeast hives can already be weighing in over 100 pounds. Make sure you have two people to move the hive and I really encourage you to spend the money and buy one of the 2 person metal hive carriers. I have moved my hives several times with them and they work fantastic for short moves.

    5. Don't forget to have a hive stand, cement blocks etc. already in place at the new location before you make the move so you don't have to pick it up twice.

    Dixiebeeco

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    If you just move them, you'll lose a lot of foragers who return to the old site looking for home. Bees orient visually and don't think to double check that their house is still exactly where it was yesterday when they leave (who would? ), so they get lost coming back to the old address. Two years ago I tried a one-mile move thinking that might be enough, and had huge clusters form on the now-vacant hive stand for three days. Move the colony 2+ miles away (as described above) for a week or two, and then bring them back to the site 75 feet from their current home.

    Some folks report success with forcing a re-orientation by breaking up the visual field outside the entrance and making them "find their way out", for example by piling some leafy branches over the entrance. Kind of a force-reboot of the visual orientation drive... hasn't been super successful for me (tried it for that one-miler) but YMMV.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm

    Just move them and put a branch in front of the hive. Do it early. They will sort things out by evening. Some will always go back to the old location and then circle to find the new location. A mile is about the worst distance. 75 feet will only take them a hour or so to find.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    Apparently (duhhh) the results of moving hives varies wildly. I went through a move recently with 2 nucs. After fretting about it for a couple days I just went out and moved them early in the morning when it was just light enough to see. Got a cluster of about 50 bees on a flower pot near where I moved them from. An acceptable number of casualties. The nucs took a day to get there bearings and were fine. After a few days I hived them. Another bout of chaos but not bad. Kind of like a six hour spell of orientaion flights. I fully expect by today they will have settled in. Ya got to do what you got to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    don't think to double check that their house is still exactly where it was yesterday when they leave (who would? ),
    I always look back at my house when I leave, granted it's ususally to make sure the garage door closed all the way, but I guess it could also be to make sure it didn't move.

    C2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Moving Bee hives 75 feet

    I used Michael Bush's method on a recent short move. Simple and worked like a charm!

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