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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, in a week or so I have to take 3 nucs north from Florida to NY. Last year I hauled them back and forth. I wrapped them in mosquito net, put them in the back of the Forester, and drove straight through, running the air conditioner when it got warm. My wife tells me I'm too old and feeble to do that anymore. This time I want to put them on a hitch-mounted cargo carrier outside the car. They're in 8 frame deep boxes, with a screened vent in the bottom and one of those closure disks from Kelley in the front. (The boxes were made with little runners on the bottom so the screen is not blocked by the surface the nucs sit on.)

So what I need to know is if the nucs will be affected badly if I stop for a night's sleep on the way up. Are there any precautions I can take to make sure the nucs don't overheat, should the sun shine on them as we go down the road
 

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My recommendation is take the lid off and nail gauze over the top. Close the bottom vent.

Reason, if things start turning to custard the bottom vent can get clogged with bees trying to escape, this does not tend to happen with a top vent. Close the bottom vent totally so with wind etc the hives are not over ventilated & chilled.

I don't know what temps will be or the exact way the hives will be positioned outside the vehicle but have some means to partially cover the gauze on top if need be if the bees are getting too much cold air through.

Yes you'll be able to stop for nights sleep.
 

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1600 miles? I thought you said you are in northern FL.

Do you have a roof rack? Long ago Bill Bertram had 4 frame nuc boxes w/ a screened entrance at the front of the bottom board. He also had a screened cover which could be nailed on and then a wooden cover which fit over the top of the screened lid but not down tight to it blocking the screen. I'd draw you a picture if I could.

He had a hole drilled in the face of the front of the nuc and a flap screwed to the front which could be used to close the hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mark, we have a daughter in Kentucky that I like to stop and see, so I go slightly out of the way, and an uncle in Marcellus that I like to visit, but with that route it's every bit of 1600 miles from Fort Walton Beach to Winthrop. We're actually in NW Florida, so can't just shoot up the coast.

I don't have a roof rack, but I do have a hitch mounted cargo carrier. This is in the wind shadow of the SUV, but gets good air circulation. But roof racks are very useful, and I should have one. Back when I was a full time potter, I had an old Caprice that I carried a bunch of display racks and pots on top, and filled every space inside. Once I was complaining to another old potter that I needed a truck, and he said, "A Caprice is a truck." Finally sold it to a kid up the street, and it's still running strong, 25 years after it rolled off the line.

I like Oldtimer's suggestion of a screen top-- I think I'll make some tomorrow.
 

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Keep them in the car take um in the hotel

Don't get caught with out a travel permit
Leaving them on a cargo rack may
get you Ticket
 

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Keep them in the car
That's what I would do, but I would leave them in the car at night, just crack the windows. If you're going to travel during the day and stop at night, I don't see a downside.
 

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Mark, we have a daughter in Kentucky that I like to stop and see, so I go slightly out of the way, and an uncle in Marcellus that I like to visit, but with that route it's every bit of 1600 miles from Fort Walton Beach to Winthrop. We're actually in NW Florida, so can't just shoot up the coast.
Maybe you need to decide whether you want to visit family or get your bees to Winthrop and then visit family on the way south.
 

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Alabama has a no comb law.bees on comb are not allowed to be brought in the state.this is hard to enforce,but it is a law.they also enacted a 'snitch' law which gives a reward for turning in infractions.6
 

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Well technically Ray probably needs an export permit from Florida and an import permit from NY. Personally I wouldn't worry about it. My concerns would be more about them making the journey safely. Assuming the hives are strong, suffocation is always a greater threat than chilling. A screen is good but, I have seen strong hives begin to fight a screen and quickly shut down the airflow smothering the bees down below. Make sure you make provisions for shade if heat and sun become a problem. I might well nail a lid on with, perhaps 2x2" spacing underneath on each end to keep direct sunlight off of them. If they begin roaring, park in the shade, then lay some paper towels on top and soak with water to cool them down. It isn't always just temp related either, sometimes it just seems bees get restless when confined, if they were humans I would call it panic. Suffocation can happen pretty quickly. One more thought, will your engine exhaust blow directly on them?
 

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will your engine exhaust blow directly on them?
It could be worse. The exhaust could get trapped in the back draft behind the van. What is the reluctance of putting them inside the vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You know, I'm starting to think I should just put them in the air-conditioned car. I've already done that a couple of times, with no problem. I hadn't thought about the exhaust being circulated by the draft of the car-- thanks, Brian. Also, I'm not sure I can count on cool weather. It's supposed to hit 80 in the North Country next week.

Jim, I think I might take your advice and combine it with Oldtimer's. A screen top, spacers, then a migratory cover. Basically, these are just 8 frame deeps, but made of ply, to be used as swarm traps once I get up there.
 

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I'm not a commercial beekeeper, so forgive me if this is a dumb comment, but what's all the fuss about?

I see pictures of commercial guys taking full double deep hives with solid bottom boards and migratory tops (usually palletized), throwing them on a trailer, sometimes tossing netting over top, and running them cross country. If they don't overheat and die, why are we so concerned about throwing three nucs onto a cargo carrier?

I don't see many commercial guys building ventilated tops and bottoms or spacers either. Although I do hear of guys having to stop to spray the bees down in the heat of the day sometimes.

So, if it works for the commercial guys, whys couldn't it work for you with three nucs?

Maybe I'm missing something.
 

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I'd do them in the car, AC on...you probably don't have a winter coat, but put on warm stuff.

If the bottoms are screened, then also screen the top, and mount them in the car so they have plenty of circulation.

We did a bunch in a cargo van this way, and if you keep things cool they do well...once the temp goes above a certain temp, they switch from working to hold the heat in to working to shed the heat...it's really neat, the smell and the sound changes immediately.

deknow
 

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So, if it works for the commercial guys, whys couldn't it work for you with three nucs?
There is a reason, being that the commercial guys don't block them inside the hives.

If he intends to block them inside the hives it's a different ball game & has to be done right.

As an aside, I sometimes have extreme difficulty convincing people I sell bees to, to do the move right. If they want to block them in they often think you just nail something across the front board and you are good to go, and can be quite resistant to me setting it up properly for them with mesh in a way that will work. They will argue the toss with me about it but I refuse to let bees leave in a way that I know they are unlikely to survive the journey. How easily bees suffocate is sometimes a thing people have to learn the hard way.
In fact one time a guy came & picked up some hives, I had discussed with him options as to how to move them & he was another guy who wanted to do it his way but eventually agreed to load them on the trailer with the entrances open. I later found out from his friend that as soon as he got out of my site he pulled over and blocked all the hives in with grass, as per his original plan before he spoke to me. This was so he could visit with someone on the way home. When he eventually unloaded the bees there was not a bee left alive, just a soggy mess in each hive. He never told me though I found out from someone else.
 
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