moving bees when it is cold
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    468

    Default moving bees when it is cold

    Looking at moving bees tomorrow. My question is, our high temp is expected to be 71 f with a low of 46 f. I would be moving them at night so the temps would be in the 50s to 40s. Bad idea? any thing I need to take into consideration?
    Or should I wait a couple more days when the temps would be in the 50s to 60s? The thing that concerns me is if I happen to break the cluster and end up losing some of my colonies.
    I will be moving the girls a few hundred miles so 4 hours on a trailer down a bunch of Texas farm to market roads.
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    9,340

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    Nota problem

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland OR. United States
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    I would love to have those temps to move bees in. I have been moving them into a staging yard last week with 45 day temps and 20 night time temps. I haven't dug into any hives but I have popped a few lids and the girls still look happy.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaseemtp View Post
    The thing that concerns me is if I happen to break the cluster and end up losing some of my colonies.
    They are clustered between frames of comb where they cluster. It isn't like a little expansion of the cluster is going to do any harm. They'll be fine.
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    I do the same. If I want to pop covers I don't care what the temp is, I will even lift boxes but not pull any frames. You only have to worry about movingbees in cold weather if you are not using wires in your wax foundation then you may have comb fall apart if it cracks.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland OR. United States
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    We have a different situation for weather here. Some days the bees will be active at 35 degrees if the sun is shining. You will see them doing a cleansing flight for a couple of hours. As long as they don't sit on the snow for very long they make it back to the hive fine. If I think there is a problem in the hive I will look in it and make an assessment. I have never had a problem from the cold by doing this that I know of.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    I moved mine in last week. Question about the entrance reducer: I had the bees locked inside their hives for 24 hours to get used their new home. When I opened them, they didn't seem to impressed with me at all. A number of them came out and some went right back inside their hives. The next day, there were quite a few dead ones lying around on the floor which I assume comes from the bees not finding back inside. Is that normal?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    Sounds like you had a lack of ventilation. I never close hives to move them, I would never get done. If traveling in day time with temps over 50 I will net the load. I move a few in the day every year, mostly nucs with no net trailing bees to the next yard with no ill effect. And as long as you move a mile or more as the bee flies they will reorient to the new location no problem.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: moving bees when it is cold

    I have a question so when you pop the lids do you replace their heat loss?
    Bees keep the cluster warm, not the entire internal volume of the hive. So, as has been, mentioned heat loss of the cluster will be nil.

    Tom

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