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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    125

    Default Can I move my hive during the winter?

    I'm in Michigan. I want to move my hive about 100 feet and was wondering if I could close it up and move them now versus the spring when they're out and about. Do I risk breaking the cluster and killing the hive? If it's ok to move, will the bees naturally reorient themselves or do I need to put some brush in front of the hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    I think you could do it tomorrow seeing as how it's supposed to be in the 50's at least. I would do it as late in the day as you can, close off any holes in the boxes and screen the entrance before moving. Move it as carefully as you can, when you get to the new spot I would just leave everything as is until night, so they don't do any flying. Its supposed to get colder Sunday so then you can take the screens off and reduce your entrance for winter, if you want you can put some branches in front of the entrance, but I don't think they'll be doing much flying for a couple weeks with the weather getting more winter like. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    If you don't get physically rough with it the cluster will not be disrupted and if its too cold to fly for three or more days they automatically reorient
    Go ahead and move it, it'll be fine.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,269

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Perfect time to move them. Just masking tape the entrance closed and move them. If it is too cool for flying, all the better. Over half the colonies in the nation get moved in freezing weather to the almond pollination festival.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    the problem with moving a hive in the winter is that the bees that over winter most are orientated to the old location.so if you move them and a warm day comes you may lose too many bees when they do cleansing flights.when i want to move a hive i wait till spring make a nuc move established hive place nuc on old location.at night move nuc 5 miles away or screen off for a few days in the shade place nuc in desired location and let them out. make shure they have plenty of stores

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    If you don't get physically rough with it the cluster will not be disrupted and if its too cold to fly for three or more days they automatically reorient
    Go ahead and move it, it'll be fine.





    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Winter is the best time to move the bees I found out. They are not flying everywhere so it is easy to manage the hive. It would help if you have a truck just load them onto the bed and drive a short distance. Then unload them onto their new location. If you have a helper then it is easier to balance the load too.
    We have chilly and frosty weather here. But at night time at 7p.m. we still move the hive 15 minutes onto the new location. They did their orientation flight early in the day when sunny in the 50s. And still made it home fine late at night just before the sunset. They all cluster together again in the cold weather. I did a check late at night to to see and they are doing fine and safe inside the hive. Not a big issue at all if you move them gently.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Be careful and go for it. They'll be fine. I've done it a few times with no problems.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,745

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Just as long as you don't drop the hive you'll be fine. They will re orient themselves to their new spot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dorr, MI
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    You should be fine moving them now, just be gentle. It is supposed to stay cold for a couple weeks so they will orientate next time they fly. Just a quick non-related question, are you also over on the PondBoss site? I think we may have email, PM'd on there in the past, I'm just up the road in Dorr. Good luck.

    Bryan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Can I move my hive during the winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by bryani289swmi View Post
    You should be fine moving them now, just be gentle. It is supposed to stay cold for a couple weeks so they will orientate next time they fly. Just a quick non-related question, are you also over on the PondBoss site? I think we may have email, PM'd on there in the past, I'm just up the road in Dorr. Good luck.

    Bryan
    Thanks for all the responses. With the warm weather yesterday the bees were out on cleansing flights, more than I anticipated. I decided to wait until it cools down again. I was planning in using my tractor and loader to lift the hive and move it to its new location - being very carefull of course.

    Bryan, I recognized your name too. Yes I also visit the PondBoss site. I'm in Paw Paw.

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