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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Jose,CA
    Posts
    37

    Default Moving old, but occupied hives

    OK, here is one for you guys. I got a call from a woman who is caring for an elderly man who is now needing full time care. He and the family evidently are trying to "put his affairs in order" I guess. Part of those affairs include moving his hives off the property.

    I went to have a look, and found that they are very tightly propalized for one thing, and the wood does not look particularly solid either. I did manage to pull the hive on the left apart and there are a few frames of bees in there. The taller hive on the right has bees too, and I saw them entering the hive at 7:30 pm. The bottom board is about ready to collapse from the look of it.







    My thought is to separate the hive bodies as best I can, mark them to maintain position for later possible re-assembly, cut some plywood pieces to cover the tops and bottoms of the bodies that contain bees and strap them together. Then I load them up and take them to my yard (my backyard actually). I guess I should do this all in the evening to improve the chances of most of the bees being home.

    There I can better evaluate the condition of the whole mess.

    How does that sound?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    Why take them apart before the move? Then you have more pieces to deal with. Sounds like they are all stuck together now. Depending on distance you just need to block the entrance and go. For short moves I just wrap some duct tape across the opening and put a ratchet strap around the hive top to bottom, hooked back into itself. For a long move on a hot day you need to close the opening with screen. I go at night after everyone is in or early morning before they leave. No suits, no stings. Bring a friend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    sounds like a plan Dodger,except i would wear my veil till entrance was covered,but thats me,i kinda like my vision

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Jose,CA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    Makes sense. My first thought was to ratchet strap them, but I got to thinking that it might be safer to separate them, and that they'd be easier to handle. I'll be moving them about 7 or 8 miles in my pickup. As far a the openings go I could just attach a strip of wood across the opening with a couple of deck screws.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    909

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    "My thought is to separate the hive bodies as best I can, mark them to maintain position for later possible re-assembly, cut some plywood pieces to cover the tops and bottoms of the bodies that contain bees and strap them together. Then I load them up and take them to my yard (my backyard actually). I guess I should do this all in the evening to improve the chances of most of the bees being home."

    Brings back memories!!

    I had a very similar siruation a few months ago. The location was such that I had to pull them apart to move - but this would not be my preference.
    You have a pick-up. If they hold together I would wait till all the bees are in. Have a helper to lift them on your truck ( don't close the entrance) and get them home. Make sure you get dressed for ALL possibilities.
    I have found with such old hives that they get stirred up if you do much with them. Closing the entrance is not the problem - I have found that when you open them again they can ve very cranky.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    Could you find a way to work the bees where they are? It might be some comfort to this man to have them nearby and cared for.
    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,024

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    Do you have access to hive staples? Were it mean, and alone, I'd consolidate the bees into as short a hive as possible making it easier to handle by hand alone. Then I would staple the bottom board to the hive body and nail the inner cover on, duct taping the hole in the inner cover. Then, late in the evening, but not dark, back up to them w/ a pickup truck, pick them up, put them in the bed and drive away. There will be some straglers, some bees spend the night out from time to time. Drive home and park the tgruck as close to where you want the bees and go inside for the night. Deal w/ getting them out of your truck early in the morning when it is just light enough to see.

    Move the unoccupied equipment before moving the bees.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    yblocker-

    I think your plan will work well. I moved a very full-of-bees hive this spring to a location 100 miles away and used the technique you are describing, except that for the top plywood I cut a large opening and covered it with window screen for some ventilation. The top plywood was held on with 3/4" screws and the bottom plywood with bungee cords. I have a little 4-wheel wagon (like a miniature hay wagon) that I used to haul the separated hive pieces from the bee yard to my pickup.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Orinda, California, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Moving old, but occupied hives

    I think that whole helper thing sounds very suspect. I would definitely do that myself if I were you. Send me pictures when you are done
    Your pal.
    Enchplant

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