Moving Hives
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Thread: Moving Hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Biddeford, Maine, USA

    Default Moving Hives

    Hi Beeks! So, I'd like to move a couple hives around in the apiary. The only time I've moved hives around is when I've done splits. Here's my question. Is there a certain way to move them around? Should they be moved at a certain time of day, any prep work needing to be done(other than picking a new site)? I'm talking about moving them probable 20 feet from the original position. Thanks!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    frederick, md

    Default Re: Moving Hives

    When we move ours a short distance we do the following.

    Lock them down, evening or early morning.

    Strap the hive together. Move them.

    Cut evergreen branches tape onto the box to cover the entrance hole. The bees have to crawl out to leave the hive, which makes them reorient.

    We have done this many times successfully.
    Zone 6b: 18 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    England, UK

    Default Re: Moving Hives

    A 20ft move is pretty typical of what I tend to do fairly often. My preference is to move the hive a couple of feet every 2 or 3 flying days (i.e. rainy days don't count) - this enables the foragers to adjust their 'auto-pilots' easily enough and so stay with the hive ok. With so many short moves being undertaken, it's a big help if the hive can be mounted on some kind of device with wheels - like a sack truck, a dolly, or something similar. Other than that, I can't think of anything else worth suggesting.
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping

  5. #4

    Default Re: Moving Hives

    Related question
    I missed/ignored/forget the 3feet 3 mile rule.

    I moved the hive about 50'.
    There are about 50-100 bees milling around the old spot.

    What can I do
    a) save those bees
    b) improve chances more do not get lost?


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA

    Default Re: Moving Hives

    Put a box w/frames in the old spot. At night, close the entrance and move the box to your new location with the entrances facing each other and hives level with each other. Make a bridge with a scrap piece of wood between the hives and open the entrance. Be careful because they are really on guard and don't use a flashlight. A red colored headlamp works well. There is good info on Michael Bush's site on how to move hives short distances. You might have to do this for several nights. J


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