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Lost Bees

1972 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Carl F
I had to move my hive a short distance (maybe 50 yards). A big swarm of bees came back to the original site. I gave them a super and they moved in but spend all day terrorizing my back yard.

Is there any way to convince them to move back into the original hive? How long will they live? Do I just need to put them down?

I think the original hive is doing fine without them but hate to have them suffer and I hate to have a mass of really pissed off bees on my back porch. Any suggestions?
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Give them a frame or two of brood/eggs and let them create a queen. Congratulations, owner of another hive!

The popular wisdom is that you can only move a hive 2 feet or two miles. If moved two feet, they can find it. If moved two miles or more, they are outside of their old forage area and will re-orient to the new hive location and not return to the old location.

All of your foragers that leave the hive are returning to the old location because that is the spot they are programmed to find. If you put them down you will be left with a bunch of house bees and there will be a little delay while they figure out that some of them need to start forraging.

Depending on how long ago you moved, you could take them all back to the original location and mak the move in small increments. Kind of a pain because you need the whole hive on a cart or something to facilitate the move. I am doing that now with a nuc hive that was against my house with too much shade. So far, so good.
FYI: the did not swarm.

You described how to do a drift devide.
Except, you did not provide the field bees a new brood chamber to enter.

Another recommendation, if moving a short distance outside of 2 feet, move at night, or when most of the foragers are in the hive. Then place some grass, a stick, or something in front of the entrance to get them to re orientate.
Rather than expecting the foraging bees to remember how to raise brood, wouldn't it be better to steal some nurse bees along with the brood frames?

Would love to have another hive but not where the original hive was located, so adding brood would only recreate the problem I was having. The hive was on a third story deck and was the most gentle hive imaginable, but they changed colors (I assume a new queen) and got a lot more aggressive making the 2nd story deck unusable.

Is it possible that I could collect them up in a nuc and take them to the new location each morning? Would they finally figure it out? Would they attack or be attacked by the bees in the original hive? Hate to kill them, they've worked hard for me and have done a great job.
Try what daknoodle recommended. Close them up and move them at night. When you open an exit for them at the new location, create an obstruction they can get through at the exit/entrance with branches or grass. That will cause them to re-orient to the hive entrance and hopefully most of them will return there after forraging.
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