Moving established hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    lawson, mo. usa
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    46

    Default Moving established hive

    I need to move an established hive this weekend. 3 deeps and 3 supers. I'm thinking I'll use a fume board to clear the supers and stack them covered top and bottom so the bees can't get back in, then separate the hive bodies, and set each one on it's own bottom board, and give each one it's own cover. I plan on doing all that mid afternoon, then wait till dark, load them in the pickup, take them to where going, and stack them up again. I haven't done this before. I'm open to suggestions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
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    1,352

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    When I move an established hive, I ratchet-strap it together firmly, screen the entrance in the morning before the bees are out, and have a friend help me lift it into the truck or trailer.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hebron, IN
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    This is my first year as a beek but I don't think that is how I'd do it. I've helped my mentor move a few hives and we never separate the hive bodies. I'd use the fume board to clear the supers and take them off. Then put your top cover on. Early the next morning take some screening and plug the bottom entrance. Get some help and lift and move all 3 hive bodies together. Then transport the hive to your new location.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    lawson, mo. usa
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    46

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I don't have help.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,291

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    Extract your honey before moving.

    Make friends. Without another person moving a honey filled hive is a pain.

    Never used fume boards. Smoke the bees down, leaf-blow, brush, shake them off the honey supers.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-19-2013 at 06:36 PM. Reason: language

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    lawson, mo. usa
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    46

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    Extract your honey before moving.

    Make friends. Without another person moving a honey filled hive is a pain.

    Never used fume boards. Smoke the bees down, leaf-blow, brush, shake them off the honey supers.
    I'm not so worried about the supers. That I can handle. I do have friends, They're just not available for this deal. There's no doubt in my mind that it will be a pain. I've done a lot of things in my life that I should have had help for but didn't. I would just like to lessen the pain if I can. I'm not as young as I used to be.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-19-2013 at 06:36 PM. Reason: language

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I agree, if you're going to harvest do so before you move. Moving hives:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    If you can't get any help, your plan as outlined will work. If your supers are capped, don't worry about putting them back on at this time of year. If you still have any kind of a flow going, you will have to decide how much room to leave for it. I doubt there would be any brood in the top deep, so you could probably clear it along with the supers. We.re done here, and I've already compressed the hives down to winter configuration, which would make a move much easier.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    1,352

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    If you're all alone, I'd do as I suggested above, but use a second ratchet strap to secure the hive to a dolly, and use a ramp to lift it to the trailer or truck.

    If it's too steep and ypu have come-along, I'd make use of it.

    You tilt a hive a over a fair amount without harm, so lonng as it is to the back or front, to prevent frames from flopping.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I have moved with screen boards. Take the top ones off. But a screen board on the bottom box. Then another screen board then a box then screen board. And so on. Duck tape boxs and screens together. Screen off the the entrance off at night. ratch strap box and screens together and move

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    2,674

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I just finished moving by myself a well established hive of two 10-frame deeps. The hive probably weighed around 100 lbs.

    After closing the hive at the end of the day, I used two ratchet straps to hold the hive tightly together. I then screwed a 1x12 onto each side of the hive to make doubly sure the hive was solidly held together while I horsed the hive around. Screws went through the 1x12's and into the bottom board and the top and bottom of each super. If I lost control and the hive tipped over, I wanted it to stay intact.

    I then loaded the hive onto a two-wheeled dolly. I then strapped the hive to the back and the bottom of the dolly. The hive was now securely closed, and the hive and the dolly were one unit.

    I wheeled the hive into the back of my Toyota 4Runner by going up two 8' long 2x8's acting as a ramp. I wheeled the dolly into the car with the hive on its back, laying the dolly down in the car. I wedged the wheels so it wouldn't roll while driving. As such, the hive was transported in the car on its back, with the frames aligned with the direction of the car.

    I drove slowly and gently over bumps and dips and around turns.

    I repeated the process in reverse when I got to my destination.

    The hardest part was fitting the hive into the back of my 4Runner, because, when tipped on its back on the dolly, the landing board was right at roof level at the car's entrance. If I had a pick-up, the hive would have been easy getting into the vehicle, and I would've transported it upright.

    I checked the hive the next day. The hive had not been opened for about 3 months, and all the frames were heavily propolized and burr-combed into place, which ensured nothing shifted during the move. I am not sure if that mattered.

    It was a lot of work, but it went smoothly and was successful.
    Last edited by shinbone; 09-20-2013 at 11:33 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lawson, mo. usa
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    Many thanks to all of you for your help. Michael, I went to your website and you probably saved me from being badly stung because I was going to set them back up at night. I'm doing this tomorrow and Ill post to let you all know how it went. Thanks again to all. Sorry about the language Barry, I'll try not to do that again.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I'm a little late on this one but if you decided how much honey you were going to leave with the hive you could remove some weight. The rest you pull off and use an escape board if you have one. I would also put an empty box or empty comb on the hive so all the bees have room. Even though your hive bodies are deeps they might not be that heavy unless they are completely back filled.

    I moved a hive with a friend that was four mediums. With a hand truck and a trailer I think I could do it alone. A lot depends on what terrain and what vehicle you have to use as to how hard the job will be.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lawson, mo. usa
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I did make the move on Sat. There wasn't harvestable honey in the supers. It was pretty much a mess because the guy had no frames in 2 of the 3 supers. I was able to stack the top 2 hive bodies in the truck. Very heavy. I wasn't able to lift the third one that high even though it wasn't as heavy so I sat it on it's own bottom board. By the way, don't do something like this with the truck windows down. I ended up using the fume board to clear the cab of bees. Made for a very fragrant 90 mi. ride home. All in all it was an experience and I ended up with what appears to be a large healthy hive. Thanks to you all.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Romney, IN, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Moving established hive

    I just relocated four of my established hives. What I did was to plug the entrance and ratchet-strap the hives, stand and all. Then, I used a Magliner under the bottom. I have two re-inforced ramps for my truck. I parked down a hill so the angle of the ramps wouldn't be too bad.

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