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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,913

    Default Hives Shuffled - need help reorienting?

    I moved some hives around to re-organize my yard this morning.

    According to the long term weather forecast it will be 8-10 days before there is much if any flying weather - Although it was nice here just a couple of days ago.

    Should I put some brush or something in front of them, or will they automatically realize that they have been moved after being confined for that long? I've never noticed anything like orientation flights after bouts of bad weather, and I would like to prevent losing any bees just now if I can.

    Probably a silly question - I recon they will be fine, but I've never done it like this before.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Hives Shuffled - need help reorienting?

    When I reorganize a yard I just move hives where I want them. If they happen to drift more to one hive then I'll equalize. Assuming the hives are remaining in the same basic area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,819

    Default Re: Hives Shuffled - need help reorienting?

    My bees have proven to me recently that there is considerable drift back when moving hives around the beeyard, and it doesn't matter how long they have been confined. I have found that it is simply not true that bees that are confined for a few days or so will reorient when they come out the first time after that confinement. Here's my experience: I had two groups of 5 frame nucs (6 nucs and 5 nucs) that I was wintering outside early in the winter, but after losing half of them I decided to move the rest that were still alive into my shed to give them a better chance of survival. They were in the shed for a couple months till recently, now I moved them back out to new locations because the weather is getter a bit better and I want them to be able to fly on nicer days. Well, sure enough lots of bees flew out on the first couple nice days and went straight back to the old hive stands about 50 ft. away from where they are now. Putting something like an obstruction in front of the moved hives will probably help some with drifting, I didn't do it because I figured that two months away from the original spot would definitely cause the bees to forget where they used to be, not so. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,091

    Default Re: Hives Shuffled - need help reorienting?

    >and it doesn't matter how long they have been confined. I have found that it is simply not true that bees that are confined for a few days or so will reorient when they come out the first time after that confinement.

    I have noticed this too, most orientate to the new location but not all.

    I put an empty hive box at the old location and move the ones that can’t figure it out for a few days.

    I read about using a towel over the front of the hive forces them to re-orientate as they make their way around the towel. I will try both the towel and empty box next time i need to move hives. Hopfully the empty box stays empty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,913

    Default Re: Hives Shuffled - need help reorienting?

    Well, that all confirms what I was worried about. The way the weather is right now they might just get 2-3 hours on a nice day when they can really forage actively before it starts cooling off, and any that don't get back to an occupied hive will almost certainly freeze. It's never a good time to lose foragers, but especially not now when they are building up and trying to feed brood.

    JD's - I've done that too, during fair weather and they pretty much all figure it out sooner or later, but right now any confusion could result in death by freezing.

    Hanging a towel over the front of the hive sounds like a good easy idea to get them to reorient. It sure couldn't hurt. Thanks for the feedback.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

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