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Discussion Starter #1
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I need to move that little blue hive on the right into a new hive that will be like the two others on the left (just a different color). So the new hive will move up about 7 feet and also will be about a foot off the ground and a new color. To confuse the bees as little as possible, do you guys move them very late in the day or early in the morning when everyone is home? Will any foragers that are out, smell their hives particular scent and find it? What would you do? Thanks!
 

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It does not matter what time of the day or night, or even if you close them up. Foragers will instinctually return to the old site. Move the hive two feet at a time, actually, 2, 2, and 3 ft. If your neighbors are over 150 feet from the hive just move it all at once. The bees will be confused for a few days.
 

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Do you need to do it in one day? I've moved hives in my backyard a couple feet at a time. Moving them up or down should matter much. It is a bit of a pain to do it this way. I know that some people put grass in the opening to force them to figure out were they are, but the little at a time method works for me as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm in no particular hurry to move them and could do it in small steps except that leveling it each time with the bees in it might be challenging. I use foundation-less frames so I'm extra careful to level perfectly.
 

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I feel you on the leveling. I'm in the same boat as you. It looks like it would be easy enough to put a box or something and level it first before the move and then you would just need to set it on that platform. If you are off a little for a day they shouldn't mess it up too badly. Make some long wedges so you can level quickly.
 

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I don't do it often but I've done it several times. I just move them. I leave them in their old box for a few days before putting them in a new one.

First couple days there will be some bees hovering where there old box was but around dark they all go in somewhere.
 

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I don't do it often but I've done it several times. I just move them. I leave them in their old box for a few days before putting them in a new one.

First couple days there will be some bees hovering where there old box was but around dark they all go in somewhere.
Agree with this - just move them and don't worry about it.
 

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move the hive early in the morning or at night when the foragers are all in the hive. Plug the entrances while moving so the foragers do not come out. When in the new position prop a piece of plywood up against the front of the hive. The exiting bees need to run into it and turn to the side to exit. This will cause then to re-orientate. After a few days you can remove the plywood. I move my winter nucs into their winter position doing the two foot a day thing. Do not put the plywood so close that it effects the ventilation.
Dave
 

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I had 5 hives sitting outside the electric fence in the pasture behind my house while I waited a few weeks for the farmer to install a gate for me. They all needed to be moved about the same distance as yours. I didn't want to move them all at once and cause mass confusion so when my gate was installed, I moved one each evening just before dark. Just set the top cover on the ground, put the top brood box on it, lifted the bottom brood box and bottom board and carried it to it's new location, about 7 or 8' away. Walked back and got the top half of the hive, put it all back together and garnished it with a sprig of pine in front of the entrance. No fuss, no dragged-out process and it literally took minutes. A few confused bees in the air at the old location circled around until they found their hive or drifted into another hive and all was well.

I've been ignoring the two foot "rule" for years and never had any problem, though I never had to deal with a color code issue.

Wayne
 
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