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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Woodstock, CT
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    39

    Default Loss of field bees after a move

    I have read that when moving hives one can expect 10-15 % loss of queens.

    Is there any data on the percent of field bees that are lost right after a move? Especially after periods of short confinement where reorientation may be a problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,599

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Do you mean a short move or a long move of a mile or more? If you move a hive a few feet within the yard it is very difficult to get them to go with the hive - unless it is the only hive in the yard in which case they will probably figure it out after a period of confusion.

    If you are making a long move and you close the bees into the hive when they are not out foraging they will pretty much all reorient to the new hive location when you turn them loose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Quote Originally Posted by Peakebrook View Post
    I have read that when moving hives one can expect 10-15 % loss of queens.

    Is there any data on the percent of field bees that are lost right after a move? Especially after periods of short confinement where reorientation may be a problem.
    Are you saying your loss 10 15 percent of Queens or bees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Closing the hives at night or early morning when they are not flying, and moving them more than two miles.

    When hives are moved during poor weather when bees are naturally confined for three or more days, it is felt most field bees will reorient to their new location. Is there any information on loss of field bees when the bees are not confined for a long time during flying weather?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,031

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    I have been able to reduce queen loss during moves to almost 0% by caging the queens just prior to the move. Using a little queen candy and a few attendants in the cage, and fastening the cage between two frames of brood in the brood nest. Once they are in their new location, I then release the queens. Since I started doing this, I haven't lost a single queen.

    Field bees, as has already been mentioned, can be retained, simply by confining them before they are out foraging, and before the move. If it is a short move, place an obstruction in front of the entrance the bees will have to fly around to exit, and they will promptly reorient. If the move is a long move, that step won't be necessary.

    Though I am referring to nucs that customers take with them, and not colonies I am moving around, en mass. And most of these nucs have new frames with very little propolis or burr comb to help hold them in place, so they would move quite a bit, while traveling our rough access roads. Before I began caging nuc queens for their rides to their new homes, much more than 50% were lost. There is nearly a mile of very rough dirt road out to our place.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-17-2013 at 06:25 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,035

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    On a large scale closing hives isn't realistic. We do all of our bee moving nights and early mornings and when we are lucky enough to get a cool overcast day with few bees flying. About the only time we lose any hives are when they must be pooled in a holding yard for a day or two and the weather is warm enough for robbing activity on a few weaker hives. You will also experience some drift in that scenario. If you are simply moving a single yard of bees and only have them on a truck for a short period of time then it would be highly unusual to lose even a single hive. 10 to 15% queen loss? I have NEVER experienced anything remotely close to that.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    I am with Jim. I move thousands of hives multiple times a year for pollination and honey. We rent our hives 4 or 5 times a season some more. You will lose a queen here or there but not a problem most will raise a new one. We move from around 7pm to 8am or if raining during the day. As long as you move them a mile or more you will not lose any field bees unless they are out of the hive foraging when you pick up the hives. And yes there are times when there are some field bees out over night, and return in the morning but not enough to worry about.
    I knew an old timer Al Purkis before he passed who would move his bees in the middle of the day to a new honey flow and leave a large part of the field bees behind and he averaged more honey per hive than any one I know, he would say they are mostly the oldest bees in the hive any where going to die soon any way and they were the most likely to carry illness with them. True or not I hated pulling his honey he ran deeps and they were always 100 plus pounds. That and he used iron pallets so you better tie things down good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I have been able to reduce queen loss during moves to almost 0% by caging the queens just prior to the move. Using a little queen candy and a few attendants in the cage, and fastening the cage between two frames of brood in the brood nest. Once they are in their new location, I then release the queens. Since I started doing this, I haven't lost a single queen.
    That does not seem practical with hundreds of hives. That means multiple trips.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    You will also experience some drift in that scenario.
    I typically get drift from the middle of the hives placed in the field to ends. The end hives pick up way more then their fare share of bee's. It is drift when they reorientate wrong.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,122

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    When I was pollinating apples, we used to prepare the colonies...reversing, counting frames of brood and evaluating colony strength. Then when the hives were in the orchard, we would split the strong colonies. On splitting, many, of course still had the same amount of brood, but the population was so reduced that we wouldn't take a split.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,035

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Heres how bad it can get. Snapped these a few weeks back after a hot day in the holding yard. Truck got delayed bees sat an extra day......stuff happens. Note the drift pallet was sitting alone in the middle.
    http://s470.photobucket.com/user/jim...tml?sort=3&o=0
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    No wander they drifted they are pack to close and are in straight lines. I will go snap a few pics of a drop yard I have 3 semi loads in now for a week waiting to go into cranberries and post tomorrow. All but 1500 hives in one spot no trees and no drift, temp in mid 80s. And I have a pic of 4 loads in a drop yard in Fl waiting to be loaded for almonds this past spring they sat on average of 4 days with no drift. Remember straight rows are your biggest enemy for drift. This is the Fl pic there are 25 pallets on both sides of pic that didn't fit in. I am standing on the forks of a bobcat 12 feet up and the bobcat is up a hill 10 feet above the level of the bees.IMG_20130201_141224.jpg

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,035

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetrucker74 View Post
    No wander they drifted they are pack to close and are in straight lines. I will go snap a few pics of a drop yard I have 3 semi loads in now for a week waiting to go into cranberries and post tomorrow. All but 1500 hives in one spot no trees and no drift, temp in mid 80s. And I have a pic of 4 loads in a drop yard in Fl waiting to be loaded for almonds this past spring they sat on average of 4 days with no drift. Remember straight rows are your biggest enemy for drift. This is the Fl pic there are 25 pallets on both sides of pic that didn't fit in. I am standing on the forks of a bobcat 12 feet up and the bobcat is up a hill 10 feet above the level of the bees.IMG_20130201_141224.jpg
    Nice loading yard. I would love to have an area this size in east Texas that was both accessible and firm enough to drive an 80,000 truck out of. I wouldnt argue for a minute that more room is better than less and spread out is better than close together. I posted the pictures to show a worst case scenario and not how it usually goes. I wont bore folks with the details except to say that this was a less than ideal situation. Pooling bees and scheduling trucks amid less than ideal weather conditions isnt always "good times and noodle salad" .
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    I should also say we had 20 barrels of open feed that got filled every day to keep them from robbing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Wow that is a big load out yard beetrucker nice. most of our load out yards look like Jims or worse lol. I will say i havnt seen drift that bad yet Jim. How long were those bees sitting there Jim, cause of the truck delay?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Interesting Beetrucker. I know one or two guys that do move in the middle of the day, never asked if it helped or hurt. I always figured it would hurt. Does any one here do this, thoughts?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,035

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Well I'm sorry but saying a move in the middle of the day dosent hurt anything just dosent make a lot of sense to me. You are losing some percentage of your field force right?
    Nick: Yeah we had high temps bees that were heavily bearding even when we picked them up by the dark of night and a trucker that aborted at the last hour. Typically we pool a load in the wee hours of the morning for a late afternoon to early evening loading time. An evening loading time works the best for the 14 to 16 hour trip to SD and an early AM unloading up north. I never like to have them sit any longer than 12 hours and you just hope for moderate temps. In this situation we had really high daytime temps and ended up having to load 2 trucks the next evening. We typically line them up in a single U shape. But with the second load had to double up some and in the gap between the two loads is where the drift pallet sat. When we came in to load I, at first glance, thought it was a stack of pallets. We just did a lot of bee brushing and switching trying to find a home for them but only about so much you can do with hives of this size.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,503

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    wow, all I have to say is wow,
    you guys impress me
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    Here are some pics of another large staging area, all pics taken at ground level so it is hard to get a good perspective, but awesome nonetheless.

    hope the link works.

    http://s1273.photobucket.com/user/as...bee79/library/

    We actually loaded 5 semi loads of 78 pallets out of this yard on this particular night, all in two hours time, a large feat even for us. We had to call in a few beek friends to help out.

    for more photo's of the commercial life look
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/W-Fis...32839093484489
    Last edited by AstroZomBEE; 06-22-2013 at 12:35 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,503

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    awesome no doubt!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,757

    Default Re: Loss of field bees after a move

    I can't imagine being responsible for that many bees and all the logistics, it does'nt happen overnight though, so I guess you grow into it a little at a time. John

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