Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Middle Georgia
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    Default Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    I caught 4 swarms last year that are doing well. I had to put them on some temporary hive stands. I'm building some new ones now that will be directly in front of the hive. My question is will I need to get them to "reset" the GPS for such a short distance? I have heard of the limbs in front method for short moves but not this short.
    \"Plant Your Corn Early\" Jed Clampett

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    If your hives are spaced out a little bit they should have no problem re-orienting if you are moving them forward. If they are close together there could be some drifting, but probably not enough to create a problem. Moving 2 feet forward, I'm not sure the branches would even be necessary.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Holts Summit, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    Can you move them on 1 foot increments each night? I address local imprinting issues using short moves where critters can get in close enough for visual cues and smell can kick in to override the slight mismatch of location relative to landscape.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,254

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    i made new stands last year and moved them more like 4 feet forward with no noticeable problems. did not use twigs.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    4,130

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    it will be no problem, move them all at once keep them orientated the same direction and spaced about the same distance apart. Don't add boxes and change the height during this transition. Remove old stands immediatly. Most wont even notice, some might circle once or twice before they figure it out.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Holts Summit, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    I did a cool short-term experiment with students to show confusion bees had when hives where moved back just two feet for an hour during the day. They hovered about original location for a good while before landing on the nearest structure (hedge row). Hedge was was complicating factor.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    Congratulations on catching 4 swarms. I caught 2 swarms.

    What I do a couple days before I move a hive is provide a landmark which I tape to the hive. Using an empty plastic milk jug I cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices (fingers) so that it looks like a field of straws. I bend every other straw to provide the bees some space to get through into or out of the hive, and tape this above the hive so that the fingers dangle down a few inches away from, but even with the entrance. This obstacle provides a visual landmark for the foragers returning to the hive. You might use this on either the middle 2 or 3 hives; On all but one of the hives, I mark the fingers with a colored marker (yellow, green or blue) so the bees can discern one from the other. Tape these to the hives about 3 days before you move them, and leave them on 2 or 3 days after you move them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    No worries, just do it. In fact if one hive is bigger than the next, reverse them to equalize populations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    5,400

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    we use to have a saying when I started keeping bees, 2 feet or 2 miles, you either moved them 2 feet at a time or 2 miles. Did I just show my age?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    We mover our bees all the time 4 feet in one direction and we haven't had a problem. MOSTLY backwards and forward is better then side to side for sure if you have more then one hive in a row. If you move side to side they will most likely go into the wrong hive.
    ALSO never tried this myself but different color fronts have been said to help bees no what hives are theirs.???
    Best of luck
    Last edited by Admin; 02-01-2015 at 01:15 PM. Reason: ad

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Georgia
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    16

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    Ths guys! Got my stands built and in place today. Although I think I will set them aside and stain them first before I move the bees. Also added some sugar water.
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    \"Plant Your Corn Early\" Jed Clampett

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Moving Bees 2 Feet Forward

    Your bees won't miss a beat. No worries.
    To everything there is a season....

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