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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default nuc and hive moving

    Hello all.
    I have a nuc with a queen in it which was split from hive about 3 weeks ago. I went into the 'old' hive yesterday and didn't find any evidence of a queen that had been raised, and know that I accidently moved the queen whenever I created the nuc. I had enough 'brood' whenever I made the nuc, but for some reason the hive didn't create a new queen even though they had some 'starter' queen cells in it. As it's so late in the year and I have this situation, I'd like to just combine the nuc with the original hive and let them continue to build up for the winter, instead of getting a new queen..i think. I also need to move the nuc and the original hive into a sunnier place that I've recently cleared. So, here's my needs, and questions -

    > I need to move the Nuc about 50 yards into it's new location.
    > I need to move the original hive into it's new location - about 150 yards away.
    > Should I re-queen the original hive, this late in the year - or just combine them?

    I know that the consensus is that you can't move hives, that short of a distance, because if you do - the foragers will just go back to their original location and 'hang-out' because they are oriented to that location. I don't really have a location several miles away to move/re-orient them to - so what can it do?

    Can I move them about 5-10 feet away at night, every few days until I get them into their new location?
    Is it better to combine them back together, as the nuc hasn't really 'taken off' as I'd expected? The queen was part of a new package I got this year.
    Not having a queen for 3 weeks is a bad thing as my hive is 'aging' out with just worker bees, and all they seem to be doing is just filling up for the winter.
    If I combine, can I just 'do it' - or do I have to separate them with paper or some other measure to prevent the 'original' hive from killing the existing queen upon combination?

    I'm moving them into a sunnier place partly because of the SHB problem I have now. I know that just moving won't take care of the problem, but I have another hive in the new location and it isn't as 'plagued' as my current hives are in their location.

    thanks for any suggestions you have -

    mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cheraw, SC, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    Ok here's what I have done. At night, shove a folded piece of #8 wire mesh or similar into the entrance so as to block it. Move the hives to the new locations you mentioned. Remove the wire mesh and stuff grass or weeds into the entrance. Make sure they have to work quite a bit to get outside. The grass alerts them to the fact that something is new and different. You will see them circling when they exit to get a new "picture" of the new location. They will finally remove all of the grass as it dries up. This will get them to re-orient. No 72 hour wait.
    I like to re-queen in July by letting them make their own queen. This interrupts the varroa life cycle. Mites were unknown when I started with a package from Sears Roebuck in 1974. But you will need to monitor your bees closely and feed them if necessary depending on your fall flow.
    Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    Are you 100% sure there isn't a queen in there? Queen cells can be easy to miss when the frame is covered with bees. A newly hatched queen can take a couple weeks or longer before she starts laying.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    Pretty sure there isn't a queen in there, as it's been 3 weeks and no evidence of eggs, or brood. The 'other' bees in there seem happy to just collect and store, but at some time their life cycle will expire and I'll have problems. I looked pretty good yesterday and will look again tonight. I'm kind of worried, considering the timeline they have been w/o a queen - and the month cycle for them to raise a queen on their own - given that it's almost the end of July now --- and we are already in a dearth.

    From what I understand, if the hive has 'truly' been w/o a queen this long I shouldn't have any issues introducing a queen as she'd be readly accepted - but just unsure. My nuc boxes are 4-frame boxes, and I have "2" stacked up. I've been feeding it since creating the split, but they haven't really grown much by now - hence the concern for it the rest of the year..and over wintering it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    I moved the hive last night. It wasn't quite dark, but there was about 15 minutes of light left - that way I could see to move everything. It was quite a treat to move them in shorts and a t-top shirt and didn't have any issues. I used a wheelbarrow to save my back and all went well. Unfortunately whenever I left this morning I couldn't tell anything but there were about 30 bees just hanging out on their front porch waiting on the sun - but as they have to fly through some stuff to get out - all should be ok (fingers crossed).

    I haven't moved the nuc yet and will wait about another week or so and check again for some queen evidence before I combine - if need be.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm#between

    Move them. Put a branch in front of the hive. Don't put anything at the old location. In two days they will have it sorted out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    Thanks all. I have 2 other hives, still at the old location and there will probably be some confusion - but hope most of them will re-orient fine. I didn't use any grass clippings, but they definitely have to re-orient because of their different entrance. I'll know how well it's going in about an hour.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: nuc and hive moving

    You think this will confuse them whenever they leave in the mornings? I presume, from what I've read that I should leave the "blockage" in place for about 48 hours for them to re-orient and at that time all should be 'ok' to remove the 'blockage'? Is that generally the rule ??

    hive-moved.jpg

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