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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I installed my first ever hive last sunday (April 18).. I realize now that the location is lousy because the bees are in shade most of the time.. Can I relocate the hive?

They arent out collecting pollen or anything yet and the weather has been been windy. Very windy today.. Thought it might be a good time to move the hive while they are all at home... Thanks guys!:)
 

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Are you just moving them somewhere else in the yard? Not an easy task. You can move them 1 foot a day. Otherwise, the field bees will return to the old location.

My suggestion would be to move them 2-3 miles away for 5 days, then move them back to the location in your yard that you want.

As far as the shade issue...my father has kept his 5-15 hives in the middle of the woods for years. When I say middle of the woods, I mean it. They set out on boards in the middle of tall hardwoods....lots of shade. His hives have ALWAYS produced well. I think the sunny vs. shade thing is overrated. Swarms find holes in trees in the middle of the woods and are happy as larks...not a lick of sun reaches them sometimes because of how high they are in the tree under the canopy.

Just my two cents...
 

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This moving questions gets lots of different answers. Most of us hobby beekeepers do not have other beeyards to enable us to use the 1 mile or 2 mile rule cited in one response above. I am a third year bee keeper. I have moved two of my hives short distances without a problem. I didn't do it at night either. About the shade -- some on here believe small hive beetle is more of a problem in the shade. I have my hives in the sun (except late afternoon) and have had no issues yet with SHB. So can't say one way or the other.

Here is what I did about moving. In the middle of the day when I would be working my hives normally, I just broke down the hive and moved it box by box about 4 to 5 feet. Some of the foraging bees came back to the original site as well as some who flew out of the hive during the move but by late afternoon all had found and returned to the relocated hive. I would wait a week and do the same thing. Moved one 20 feet that way. My other two hives were close by but each faced a different direction from each other so I did not have a drifting problem during the move. This would be tedious if you have a long move like across a yard or field. In that case, I would do the night move as has been discussed in earlier threads. Or if done in the day leave one box at the original site for returning foragers and then brushing those bees into the relocated hive the next way. Eliminates the 1 mile 2 mile deal.

Breaking down the hive weekly I did is not something to do on a whim but I moved in the Spring when the box count was low. Also I figured getting them into a sunnier spot was more important long term than whether I disturbed the bees a few times in the short term. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the detailed information.. I only want to move the hive about 5 to 10 feet to the left.. Nothing major.. Sounds like it will be ok...

thanks!
 

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Screen the entrance the night before you move after all foragers have come back and just move them.

Put a leafy branch in front of the entrance once you open them back up so that they will reorientate themselves and you should be fine.

If you really want to you can put an extra box back at the old location in case some of your bees fail to orient the first time they leave.

Otherwise you should be fine.
 

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Thank you for the detailed information.. I only want to move the hive about 5 to 10 feet to the left.. Nothing major.. Sounds like it will be ok...

thanks!
5 to 10 feet to the left... Just move them. It's the only hive in the yard so is a very easy landmark to find for them. They'll come back to original location and fly a few circles to find where it's moved to and go right in, no problem and no big deal. As far as the time, dusk or dawn is best, but it isn't really going to matter that much.
 

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Do not worry about screening them for a short move. If you put a box where they were, they are less likely to look for the new location. Short moves can actually be done day or night. Some queen breeding books recommend screening them up for several days to reduce imprinting. Queen rearers have special needs, not that they took the short bus to school, crowding and transferring bees and brood to build colony strength. The bees are almost always taken from hives in the same yard. Keep it Sweet and Simple (KISS) move them a couple feet a day no screen, no fears!
 
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