How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    86

    Default How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Looking at the current Northern California weather and forecast, I am very concern, that it is going to be very difficult to get the hives out from some beeyards at the begging of February due to soft-muddy ground. If the weather continues to by rainy, I would be afraid to access the hives with a bobcat or hummerbee.
    I remember about 10 years ago, the Swinger got stuck in mud and we pulled the rest of the pallets out with help of garden cart and hand trucks (2 wheel carts). It was not a fun job and my current health probably won't allow me to do what we did 10 years ago. I am hoping for a window of good weather, it should last at least a week, nothing promising so far. I have a yard, which is about 1/4 mile from asphalt road (half way alfalfa field).
    I was careful in the last years moving the hives out in December, but this year I took the risk looking at the natural pollen around and they said that El Nina will bring dry weather as we had in the past .
    Does anyone know a lightweight motorized forklift or suggestions how to make this job easier? Thank you.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    2,072

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Some sort of vehicle on tracks, Bobcats come to mind. They are pricey but maybe you can rent one. I suppose when it will be time to go and if it is rainy everybody will have rented whatever is available.

    Jean-Marc

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Sidney, Montana, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Jean-Marc is right in recommending something with tracks. Holt Caterpillar Rental http://www.catrentalstore.com/holt/locations should have a skid steer with tracks you can rent they have a lot of locations around Sacramento

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Charleston South Carolina
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    I've never moved beehives like that commercially but have experience with moving tracked machines in mud. You have to build walking boards. Depending on the size of the tracks will depend on how big you build the walking boards. You lash timbers together and put them in front of you. You walk on them and pull the ones from behind and put them in front. You keep doing this procedure. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9hP8V7SwNFA That's a link to a video that shows what I'm talking about

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    2,072

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    A neighbor used walkingboards with his forklift. They were 3/4 in plywood boards. He had to drive out 50 yards. It could not have been fun and must have taken what would seem like a very long time. With all the rain we get here, I place hives very close to where the gravel ends or better yet where the pavement ends.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    2,095

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Unless you have them on tar or rocks you are plain screwed considering the forecast.. wheelbarrels on plywood or chains pulling pallets. Repeat of 06 os here
    Good luck!!!!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,609

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    One Feb we took them into slimy orchards in a 1/4 ton pickup with wide tires. The hives were on bottom boards back then and was all hand loading anyways. The guy next to us was using a tracked bobcat for his pallets. So that looks like your best bet. Pat H showed me a 4 wheeler with forks he was designing some years back to move single pallets in that type situation. Dont know what came of it.

    We are buried in snow here in the mountains 18 inches here in 2 days.All that looks like its going to go down the Sac River this weekend as heavy rain is predicted even at high elevations. I would be VERY concerned about any yards close to the river.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    I've seen video of Christmas trees being moved and loaded into trucks as sling loads with a helicopter. Sounds ridiculous but it must pay for them. You would have to load a lot to make it worthwhile I think, but on the other hand there aren't any Christmas trees to load at this time of year so maybe the guy with the helicopter is offering discounts.
    Bill

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    How many hives do ou need to move?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    5,486

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Looking at the long range forecast, the last week in January/first week in February, there might be a big enough break for stuff to dry out enough. It's hard to say at this point though, as last week we weren't supposed to get much rain but the high pressure systems that were diverting the moisture have moved and now we have the atmospheric river conditions....

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,609

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Right. Watch the weather and hope for the breaks we need.

    " Repeat of 06 os here"
    God I hope not.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    I don't remember the year, maybe '06, we placed hives in an orchard near LoggerMike and flooding began along one side of the orchard.
    We took 3- 2x4s and 6 guys, slid the 2x4s through the pallets and carried the hives to higher ground like pallbearers.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    2,072

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Oh my. There must have been about as much joy as a funural doing that task. That certainly describes beekeeping. You gotta do what you gotta do, whn you gotta do it.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,609

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    06 was muddy orchards, stuck trucks, bees only flying between breaks in the rain during pollination, starved hives,etc. Had a foot of snow on Easter here in the mountains. We didn't get all our hives out till the end of April. Easy money, Right Harry?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,486

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    But the shad run on the American was epic that year....

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    If you have a loader that does not have a mast- a friend has a piece of I beam that can be pinned across the pallet forks that can bee used to push the loader. That is if you don't have a load on it. Tire chains also help. The CTLs seem to do well in the mud.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Move them out when we get that good weather end of Jan.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,192

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    You could move them as they do in New Zealand...helicopters

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,252

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Here ya go. Provided the hives are prepared properly and you have a crew at the pickup and drop zone this can be fairly efficient.

    Funny story about this, a beekeeper friend of mine has formed a good relationship with his chopper guy. One day he was having a barbeque in the back yard, the chopper happened to fly overhead and noticed, so dropped in to join the barby.

    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,192

    Default Re: How to get hives out of muddy beeyards.

    Nice OT

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