Question on Turning a Hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Gerald, Mo. USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Question on Turning a Hive

    I'm in the process of moving up from one to two hives, and a friend gave me a very nice hive stand that will handle three or four hives. To install it in the place where I have the one original hive, I'll have to turn that hive 90 degrees from south-facing to west-facing, and raise it up about half a foot. I'm aware of the 2 feet or 2 miles rule of thumb, which I won't be violating, but what about turning the hive? I'm considering moving the hive over a foot or so temporarily so that I can get the new stand into position and leveled, then moving the hive to the stand after a couple of days, but keeping it still orientated to the south. Then after a couple more days, turning it 45 degrees to the southwest, and then a couple of days later, another 45 degrees to finish the turn to the west. Is all that necessary, or should I just put it onto the new stand facing the west, and hope that the bees figure out that they now need to go to where the side used to be in order to get into the front? Thanks for your wisdom and input on this!
    I need to go back to work. This being retired is working me too hard!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Question on Turning a Hive

    In my experience, you absolutely do not have to do this much work for turning the hive. Just put the new hive stand up, put the hive on, and they will figure it out. If you are still worried, you can put a drop of lemongrass oil on the entrance to the hive and they will track to that scent.
    USDA Hardiness Zone 7A, Hobbyist, First Hives in 2017

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Re: Question on Turning a Hive

    Turn it first so they aren't flying at you while you are trying to install and level the new stand.
    Zone 6B

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Bellflower,Montgomery County, Mo
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Question on Turning a Hive

    Welcome to BeeScource,

    What Akademee said. Wear your suit when you work.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Gerald, Mo. USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Question on Turning a Hive

    Thanks for the input! I'll let you know how it goes. It might be another week or two though.
    I need to go back to work. This being retired is working me too hard!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,969

    Default Re: Question on Turning a Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCfffg View Post
    I'm considering moving the hive over a foot or so temporarily so that I can get the new stand into position and leveled, then moving the hive to the stand after a couple of days, but keeping it still orientated to the south. Then after a couple more days, turning it 45 degrees to the southwest, and then a couple of days later, another 45 degrees to finish the turn to the west. Is all that necessary, or should I just put it onto the new stand facing the west, and hope that the bees figure out that they now need to go to where the side used to be in order to get into the front?
    You can choose either way - the bees will figure it out. With only one hive right now, you could even move the hive (say) four or five feet with the entrance in any direction you choose - and they'll hunt around until they find it. But, as little change in entrance position as possible is better/kinder. It's a different matter when there's several hives 'within range', as drifting from one hive to another can then more easily occur.
    When you move the existing hive/stand to give yourself room to install the new one, suggest you move it towards (if possible) wherever the bees normally forage, so that they'll encounter the hive earlier on their return.
    And yes - do wear a bee-suit, as there may be some confusion in the air for a short while, until they settle down again.
    LJ

    I'll let you know how it goes. It might be another week or two though.
    In that case, do your 45 degree rotations every few days in the meanwhile, to bring the entrance facing into the new direction - to make life that little bit easier 'on the day' .
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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