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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Moving Bees to New Hives???

    I have two top bar hives that I started from packages in April 2012 (photo attached). I lost a nuc that I split from my stronger hive to small hive beetle infestation last summer. While the two packages kept the SHB pretty well penned up, after seeing the devastation wreaked on the nuc, I helped them by systematically ferreting the beetles out of cells and squashing them—with great pleasure--during regular inspections. I also tried a couple different trap designs which were not very successful. My wife and I will be traveling a lot this year and I am concerned that SHB could be a problem in my absence. Several local Langstroth beeks have told me they have had good success in controlling SHB with Freeman-type screen bottom oil traps. I decided to make a similar trap for my hives.
    QUESTION:
    I have built a third hive (with identical dimensions to my current hives) that incorporates the screen/oil tray trap (photo attached). My plan is to put a few drops of lemon grass oil in it and transfer the bars/bees from hive #1 into this new hive when the weather warms enough…placing it in the same location as the current colony. Then, retrofit hive #1 with the new trap, pressure wash it thoroughly, add LGO and transfer the bars from hive #2 into it. Then, retrofit hive #2 with the trap, pressure wash, add LGO and keep it for a future swarm/split. Is this a viable plan? Any issues with acceptance of their new homes?
    I suppose an alternative might be letting the colonies in their current hives and doing a“live swap out” of the current solid bottom boards with prefabbed bottom traps. Somehow, I suspect that the bees may not take kindly to my removing the floor of their home with a drill and who knows what will happen from there! Besides, I’m not as young as I used to be and getting down on the ground to do that won’t work so well!

    Any and all suggestions about how to best pull this off would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    KenHives 2012.jpg2013 New Hive.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    If you're just transferring boxes then you're fine. No Need for the LGO. It's just a waste. Move the full hive a couple feet away, put the new one in it's place keeping the entrance in the same spot (doesn't have to be exact. within a few inches and they will have absolutely no problems. Even if it's a foot or two away they'll be fine) transfer the frames one at a time keeping them in the same orientation in the new box as they were in the old, untiil they're all in the new box. Most of the bees will be now in the new box. With the remainder you can either tap the bees out of the old hive or smoke them out putting the hive close to the new one. It can take about 5 minutes and you're done. For your swarm trap when you're done LGO would be good, but not for the existing hive. It wouldn't hurt I don't think, but it's a waste. (LGO's not cheap) The drawn comb and the other bees will get them there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    Good plan and I would not try to make those changes to a hive "live" either

    BTW, those hives look fantastic, much better than my utilitarian ones.
    Cheers
    Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    Nice looking hives. What purpose does the side door serve?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    Delber & Rob,
    Thanks for responding so quickly to my inquiry! My instincts told me the plan should work, but the last thing I want to do is mess up after getting the packages this far!

    Rob,
    Thanks for the compliment! As you may be able to tell from the photos, I live in the city of Raleigh. The hives sit about 25 feet from our back deck so there was no alternative but to make them "presentable" to keep my DW happy....you can see some of her decorating on the fence! Besides, I enjoyed building them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    Quote Originally Posted by MaydayMalone View Post
    Nice looking hives. What purpose does the side door serve?
    Mayday,
    There is a window behind the door that allows me to check out what the bees are doing without opening the hive. This is a great feature, especially for a new beek like me. I built one of my current hives with a window and the other without...something I have really come to regret, especially during this winter! I have no idea what is happening in the hive without the window and I am concerned because it was weaker going into the winter. If it had a window, I could get a good idea of where they are in the hive and how they are doing, but there is no way I can open the hive to physically inspect them during the cold weather. I will just have to wait for warmer weather. Not being able to see is making me a little (or maybe a lot) anxious!

    Although, I didn't mention it in my original post, I intend to insert a window into that hive once I move the bees out of it and into the new hive.

    I would recommend anyone put a window in if they possibly can. It is also a great way to let others look into the inside of the hive, without having to suit up.

    Ken

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Moving Bees to New Hives???

    Very good.

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