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Last night I moved a hive that I caught a swarm in about a week ago. I moved them about 6 ft to the rest of the hives and I placed a branch at the entrance for orientation. All day today bees are circling around where the hive was. Is this normal and if so will they find their way back to the hive? The hive has bees coming and going but there is a good number hanging out at the old location.
 

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Imprinting lasts for several days. Because you have several hives, they may or may not find the original hive. That is where the two feet or two mile rule developed. If you had moved the hive in two foot increments they would find it. If you try now, some will go to the adjoining hive so it is too late for a "do over."
 

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Yea, I see people "advise" that it's ok to move a hive elsewhere in a yard in one big move and to put grass/branches/sticks/etc in front. It does not work a VAST majority of the time. I have NEVER seen it work.
Choices:
1. One foot a day
2. Move the hive 3+ miles away for 4-5 days then move back.

For me, there is no other option than these two options. The other just flat out doesn't work. I don't care who says they've done it on here.
 

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Isn't it amazing how you can put new bees into a hive for 24 hours, watch them fly way out of eye shot and they find there way home???

It's not convenient for us beeks, but it is another one of natures miracles! Every time I hear mention of moving hives it really makes me wonder how they do it...

:popcorn:
 

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I moved a hive for 5 days and then moved it back, but about 50 yards away. They hadn't forgot and I ended up w/ a mess also
 

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In 24 hours the majority will have it figured out. In 48 hours all but a handfull will have it figured out. In 72 hours you won't see any confused bees, but you do sometimes see one fly back to the old place, turn right and go to the new place. But no circling anymore. Circling is how they find the new place. The start a spiral going out until they smell it.
 

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Are you saying that when you move a hive in the yard you end up with a mess (lots of disoriented bees) but if you give them 2 -3 days they sort it out?

For the first time this year I started some nucs which are in my bee yard. But, I didn't set the nucs where I want the hives to be when I move them to full sized equipment. I want the new hives 20' - 30' from where the nucs sit now. Should I just move them to the new location and expect them to find their way in a few days, move them a foot or two a day until I get them where I want, or relocate several miles away for a week then bring them back?
 

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RiverHawk -

I cannot speak about moving bees at night but I have moved a hive during the day 4 to 5 feet away from the original location but faced in the same direction. I broke the hive down into boxes and moved them that way because I cannot lift even two boxes together. I have done this incremental moving with two different hives adding up to about 8 moves in all because I was moving them more than 4 to 5 feet total. I have a written record of this but it is my memory that I waited about one week between each 5 foot move. I had no problem at all. I checked them throughout the days of the move and by evening there were no bees at the original site. So you can believe it or not but its a fact.

Some people who have written about bees say they do not really find their own colony by exact location . They know it close enough to usually get back to the right hive but this inability to be exact is why they can drift to other hives if you have a line of hives facing the same direction - usually the end hive gets the most driters. I only had one hive facing the direction of the hive I was moving, so perhaps that is the reason I was successful. They came back to the general location and saw only one hive there -- four or five feet away with bees coming and going. Don't know. But it worked.

Keep an open mind. Posters may disagree on this board but I doubt anyone lies about what they say as you imply. Susan
 
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