Moving bees across country
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6

    Default Moving bees across country

    I recently accepted a job that will have me moving from Atlanta, GA to either the San Francisco area or Seattle area. I am trying to decide if I can take my 3 hives with me or if will need to rehome them. It looks like I will he leaving sometime in December or early January. I am worried that they won’t survive the drive because

    1. The duration of the trip. I am assuming it will take 3-4 days to make the drive.
    2. They would like be outside during the drive and I am thinking as I get north (Towards Seattle if I end up there) they could freeze along the way.

    Does anyone have any experience with this. Thanks for your thought.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    New Concord, Ohio
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    I would sell and restart at the new location.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,839

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    Perfect time to get new equipment and bees better suited to the cooler temps.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,795

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    I don't see that moving them would be a problem, on or in a truck, not a small trailer, too much bouncing. Screened top and bottom board protected from the wind. Pollinators move thousands, millions, of hives across the county all the time just netted and leaving the entrance open. Now the work and hassle involved might make it cost ineffective.
    "bees better suited to the cooler temps.", I wouldn't worry about that.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I don't see that moving them would be a problem, on or in a truck, not a small trailer, too much bouncing. Screened top and bottom board protected from the wind. Pollinators move thousands, millions, of hives across the county all the time just netted and leaving the entrance open. Now the work and hassle involved might make it cost ineffective.
    "bees better suited to the cooler temps.", I wouldn't worry about that.
    Never seen any bees being moved in December or January, though. Maybe they do but I have never known of it. Think with just 3 hives I would not fool with moving them and just start over once you are settled.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks for the thoughts. I am starting to lean that way. Sucks because I just started over again 2 years ago and these are just getting into their prime. I am concerned that they would struggle during transport as it will be quite cold up in Seattle by the time I get there assuming that is the final destination.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gould, OK
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    I moved at the end of November into December last year. Moved from Courtland Va. to Gould Ok. I took three hives with me, screened off the opening and strapped the boxes together. The one problem I had was the boxes shifting the first day and some bee got out. I could not close the gap completely just enough so no more bees would fly out. The move took about 4 days. They all survived thru the winter.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    I too would sell and start again.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Dr4ngas. Were they outside in a pickup truck or inside a vehicle? If outside, what temperatures did they experience during the move if you can recall. Thanks.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gould, OK
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    They were outside in a Nissan Frontier, that was on a auto mover from U-Haul. If memory service the temps were between freezing and 60 degrees.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    38

    Default

    If you have to leave them behind I have a spot in Chattanooga to put them. 😁

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Maysville, KY
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I'm pretty sure California requires inspection of incoming bees and if you enter on any main highway there are/used to be inspection stations that are checking for plant material but would surely notice bee colonies. Don't know about Washington.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Moving bees across country

    Quote Originally Posted by cvonins View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts. I am starting to lean that way. Sucks because I just started over again 2 years ago and these are just getting into their prime. I am concerned that they would struggle during transport as it will be quite cold up in Seattle by the time I get there assuming that is the final destination.
    Can you leave them "somewhere" and pick them up in the spring?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Beavercreek, OR
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Here's a goofy thought...
    Bees from all over the US, go to California to pollinate almonds. Maybe you can find a local pollinator that makes the trip to take your bees to Cali then pick them up in March-April . The pollinator will benefit making $400-$600 depending on quality of hives, you will benefit with strong spring hives that are within 1000 miles of your new location. The downside is the trip to go pick em up. I like road trips so might be tempted. Another factor is equipment. If you already use commercial equipment, then your set. BTW, I finished x country trip from Portland Oregon to Jacksonville North Carolina. 4 days.

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