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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Anniston Alabama
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    Default Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    I moved out of state a while back and left my hives at home. A girl I work with said her grandfather was getting rid of all his beehives. He has six hives and I asked her to ask her grandfather what he wanted for them. Turns out, he's just going to give them away. I would like to get his hives this weekend because work usually keeps me here. He lives about 3 hours away and doesn't have any tools, just the hives. I'm trying to find a smoker somewhere, but if I can't, does anyone on here have any experience moving bees without tools? I just want to know if it can be done. Besides a homemade veil, it looks like I wont have anything to work with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,991

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Doing it with no smoker may work, but could also turn to custard.

    Basically, go at night & gently load them on an open trailer & rope down. Don't try blocking them in. Drive all the way home without stopping.

    Smoke cigeretes? If not, maybe time to start.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Boston, MA
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    310

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Do you need anything besides ratchet straps and duct tape / hardware cloth? Maybe 2-wheel dolly?

    Tony P.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Anniston Alabama
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    37

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Sounds like this is going to be loads of fun I am fully armed with rachet straps and a staple gun. I'm sure that I can get a dolly somewhere. I do not have a trailer, unfortunately, but I do have a truck. I have not ever moved hives before (been reading though) and since I may be doing it by myself, I was thinking about disassembling the hives and re-assembling them on the truck, or, if I can get help, to just staple and tape them and load them up on the truck. I also have some mesh that I plan on stuffing into the entrance before I start moving as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Livermore, CA
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    1,392

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Time it so you arrive just before dark so you can see the shape that the hives are in, they may be in great shape..........or they may be deteriating badly and could fall apart while moving them. If its cool at night most of the bees should be inside, if its warm and they are bearding, it could get really fun.

    If all the stars line up and the hives are in good shape and the bees are mostly all inside, duct tape the entry points above the bottom board and if they are solid bottom boards you will want to put 1/8" hardware cloth blocking the entrance. Take a piece the width of the bottom entrance and about 4" long. Now fold that harware cloth in half length wise making a "V" shape and stuff it in the entrance going point end in first, it will wedge in the entrance and provide ventilation for the ride home. If they are screened bottom boards just duct tape the entrance shut.

    You also might consider the weight of the hives. If they are double deeps packed full of bees and honey you could be looking at well over 100 pounds! If everything is all good just run a ratchet strap around the side of the hive and buckle it down.

    Goodluck!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,382

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Video it for us. sounds like fun.

    BTW. You dont need hive tools you need an experienced beek to help you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    310

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    I suggest taping the seams between your boxes too.

    TP
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smasrh7903 View Post
    . I have not ever moved hives before (been reading though) and since I may be doing it by myself, I was thinking about disassembling the hives and re-assembling them on the truck.
    Disassembly, reassembly, with hives you don't know, never moved bees before, and with no smoker. No.

    Get a smoker before attempting this.

    The alternative, would be go ahead but have somebody with a camera. There's always the chance to take out the $100,000 prize on Americas Funniest Videos. LOL
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
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    576

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    I bought some equipment not to long ago with one active hive that had 2 deeps and 1 med super out in a field. I closed the entrance with a rag and my boy and I moved it with the as seen on TV furniture straps about 60 yards through thick trees and brush. It had to weigh at least 180 and picking it up was not the problem but moving it through the brush was no picnic.
    4 or 5 stings each from the foragers and in the trailer it went. If you have 6 hives I would recomend renting a u-haul trailer it would not be as high to lift them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    1,168

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Add duct tape to your list. Might need to repair old boxes with holes and cracks.

    I would not disassemble them if you don’t have to. Have a friend ride with you, buy him dinner. If you disassemble I would use a smoker.

    Find out what mite treatments have been done, and how the mite counts are. The mite status of the hives right now will determine if they will survive winter. Then check stores and feed if needed still plenty of time to feed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Anniston Alabama
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    37

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Good news is I can stop in Albuquerque on the way to the hives. I'm going to try to find someone in the NM Beekeepers association to lend (or buy) a smoker, but I haven't heard back from anyone yet. I also know I can drive up to the hives. I have had several people tell me to bring a camera. I will be bringing a camera. I'm a pretty humorous person, and even though I am going to try to avoid stings, I have a gut feeling something is going to happen. No way am I not filming this. I do not know what kind of shape everything is in, the guy apparently hasn't really ever done anything with his hives. So what I want to do, depending on the shape of the hives, is to put the mesh into the entrance, after the bees are home. Then put a staple on each side on each box. Load them into the truck and strap them down and get out of there. I have the option of going with the girl (she is spending a weekend with her family there) which would give me a day or two to access the situation, or meeting her there that afternoon. I think I am going to try to get more information or at least wait on my stuff (unless I can get a beek to help me out). I don't want to mess this up. BTW the U-Haul trailer idea is awesome. I'm going to look into that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Stevenson, Washington, USA
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    181

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Solo loading is a pain, but it can be done - take along a solid, flat topped object about a foot high, as well as another one half-height to the truck bed. Once you have them all ratcheted together you can do a series of short lifts, resetting your grip points. After picking up one of my hives with a damaged bottom board, I would also recommend setting them on some shag carpet or something to "gasket" the bottoms once they're in the truck. Everything was fine until I set the hive in the truck and the channels in the bed floor allowed them to rush out from underneath! Good luck - what a great opportunity!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
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    208

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    U-haul with ramp and dolly is a really good idea. Six hives is a great way to start with bees and free is even better. The idea of closing the entrance and ratchet strapping them together is what I would do IF the equipment is in good shape. Best to be prepared so here are some possibilities. Sides rotten or blown out of hive body, frames so weak the fall apart with relocation, hives are hot (angry), hives are completly loaded with honey (making weight couple hundred lbs). Just some things to prepare for... I'd take some heavy waxed boxes large enough for frames incase something falls apart. Lotsa bottled water to drink and wash with often the more honey on stuff the more bees helping you clean up. The rachet staps, duct tape, window screen that others have mentioned. Half dozen towles always handy for numberous reasons. Someone else to help lift and someone to hold that camera

    And find something you can smoke with or burn that makes smoke coffee can with some socks is better than nothing and if you don't smoke this isn't a reason to start.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
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    1,295

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Smasrh, if you want some really good camera footage go ahead and pound staples into the sides of the boxes, that will be the quickest way to rial them up. There are a lot of places that sell cheap 1 inch ratchet straps, often six in a pack, I would advise you to purchase a pack and use them instead of staples. Just go around the hives vertically, and as already mentioned duct tape to seal the seams would be recommended. Also a two wheel dolly cart and a set of loading ramps would make loading a whole lot easier.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,838

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    You will need a smoker if the bees are bearding outside, even at night/evening time. Bring a drill and some screws so you can screw the top boards down. I have slats for handles and 4 screws holds both boxes together, slats on front and back of the hives. 1/2" wood, 2" wide by however long the equipment is on the short side would cover you. How many boxes are you talking for each hive? 2 would be pretty easy, is it 10 frame or 8? If the bees aren't bearding, cut a strip of 2" card board, light the end, blow it out, and you can use that to get any bees inside or lightly smoke the entrance so they don't come out when you screen them off.. Get some screen to block the entrance, i use a wire mesh you can fold over and stuff inside. you can tape the ends if you want.

    Straps can also work if they're 2-3 boxes. I don't bother sealing all the boxes together with tape as I want any ventilation the bees can get on the drive.
    Last edited by JRG13; 10-03-2012 at 03:16 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    400

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    A couple of additions....
    Once the bees are loaded keep the truck idling until they are unloaded.The vibration seems to calm them.
    Take a helper who isn't afraid of stings.Loading and unloading isn't a one person operation.If you get the truck close to the hive,strap it and move it quickly the bees may not even get upset.
    Several of the posts advised closing the entrance but only one said use 8 mesh hardware cloth.That person was right.Stuffing the entrance with anything else will probably suffocate the bees.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Anniston Alabama
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    Wow, thank you so much everyone for all your help. You have all helped me put a better plan together in my head. First of all, I am still trying to find a beek to help me with this (I have my non beek friend to help regardless). I am also going to buy, borrow, or make a smoker. I saw a post earlier where someone had used staples, but I have plenty of straps. I will tape up every hive, put the mesh into the entrances and individually strap each hive before moving it into the truck where I will secure the hives from moving with more straps. I have some pallets I can put them on too, if I want. Then, by the cover of darkness, I will move them home and set them up so that when the bees wake up in the morning, they will have no idea how they got here. Is this sounding a little better than just driving up and loading them now?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
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    1,110

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    I will move them home and set them up so that when the bees wake up in the morning, they will have no idea how they got here
    A tiny bit of help

    Bees DO NOT Sleep

    They also like to crawl when not flying

    ( hint) they don't fly much at night

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    As always you guys are making this way to complex. I'll start with the basics.
    1. It's hot this time of year in your area so to avoid heat stroke you need to stay cool ni recommend you wear shorts, flip-flops and no shirt at all.

    2. As you will probably get sweat and smelly a lot of good strong cologne is a must.

    3. Forget the veil, again to hot to wear.

    4. Last thing on proper apparel is that time is important. I advise wearing at least two watches. Loose black watchbands work the best.

    You should take a helper to film the operation so you can be sure to document the process. The helper is probabl not going to get to hot so a veil and bee suit are a good idea. Besides most Helpers are usually a bit afraid of bees to start with.

    Now that we got the gear out of the way we can discuss the actual move.

    1. Timing. Bees don't like to fly when it's raining. Use this to your advantage. Wait until a good thunderstorm is rolling in if possible.

    2. There is probably a lot of weeds grown up around these hives. Take a weed eater and whack the weeds away from the hives. I is best to actually let the string strip some paint of the hive as you go then you can assess the integrity of the woodenware. Do an extra good job at the entrance as you will be working in that area

    3. Be sure to hammer the lids in with nails. I have found that 5/8" long nails in 1/2" plywood tops work well.

    4. No need to da het strap them together, the bees probably have them glued together pretty good.
    5. Back your truck all the way up to the hives, no need to have to carry them far. You can tell when you are far enough back when you hear a good thump, some loud buzzing, and see a small swarm in your rear view.

    6. At this time the bees may be getting a little anxious, if you have access to one of those high volume bass amps, they really like music. So actually lay a speaker face down on the top and crank the bass way up.

    7. If the hives are light you can just pick em up and toss em in the truck. If they are to heavy then you are going tO have to have a mechanical advantage. I recommend using a sheet of plywood as a ramp. Lay one end on your tailgate and the other on the ground. Use a bunch of veg oil on the plywood to make it easy to slide the hives up.

    Oh wait I forgot to tell you to close the entrances up. To do this you will need to run the bees back in the hive. Just lay down close to the hive, take deep breath and blow them back into the hive. The worse your breath is the better.

    After running them back in the hive they will stay if you face the entrances of two hives facing each other, touching is better. They will keep each other contained.

    There you go. If you need further instructions on glossing and set up. Just let me know.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 10-03-2012 at 04:20 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Anyone ever moved hives using no hive tools?

    One thought if you have a skill saw and make some lids and bottom cut the center out and apply some # 8 wire screen to the plywood / osb board. I have even applied runners to the bottom one for air
    David

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