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Santa Cruz, CA
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built a new stand in a different location for my bees that will be much sunnier and more protected from wind.

Since it’s only 100 meters from my current location I was planning on moving them about 10 miles away, to a friends yard, before moving them back.

What is the recommended amount of time they would need at their new location for them to forget the area and not return to their old location, upon returning them to my property?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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6,884 Posts
You would need to give them about four weeks, enough time for all the existing foragers that have oriented to the original location to die. Once oriented to a spot, the bees do not forget. I think Rusty Burlew has a blog on this topic.
 

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Santa Cruz, CA
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm a little skeptical of 4 weeks. I've moved them for 2 weeks before moving them back without an issue. I've always believed that once the foragers oriented to a new location, and given about 3 days and returned, would reorient once again.

I could always leave a nuc in the old location to capture any of the really stubborn bees, might be my best bet if I'm getting a lot of bees returning. Guess this could be an experiment as well, bring one hive back 3 days later, another 7, another 14, see if there is a difference.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Two weeks is probably the minimum amount of time needed for the majority of the foragers to have died. I was being conservative and allowing for them all to have died. Anything less than the two weeks is likely to result in a large number of bees returning to the old location. They are girls, they never forget ANYTHING!
 

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Super Moderator
Santa Cruz, CA
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Two weeks is probably the minimum amount of time needed for the majority of the foragers to have died. I was being conservative and allowing for them all to have died. Anything less than the two weeks is likely to result in a large number of bees returning to the old location. They are girls, they never forget ANYTHING!
Perfect, thank you! I'll give them two weeks and hope for very little drift back. If there is any, I'll place a smaller nuc up there.

And good point on the ladies 🤣
 
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