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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have forty to fifty hives currently spread from the Sierra Valley at 5000 ft through locations at 3000 ft to as low as 500 ft in the Sacramento Valley foothills. I live about 40 miles from the higher locations and sixty miles from the lowest.
Winter temperatures in the Sierra Valley go down to zero and in the foothills drop to the high thirties, rarely to freezing.

I plan to move all my hives to the Sierra Valley in August/Sept to catch the sage/rabbit brush bloom. The sage in this area is a pollen source rather than a nector source but the rabbit brush is a good nector source. In Oct/Nov. I plan to move them back down and place them on one of three locations in the foothills until almond polination. One of these locations have ******** Eucalyptus which blooms in Jan around here, two have large stands of Manzanita which can bloom anytime from late Dec to Feb and provides a long but unpredictable flow. From there they will go to pollination and then start the merrygoround again.

I have been told that too much moving is hard on the bees.

Does anyone see any problems with this plan (other than back problems and $3.00+ gas)?
 

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People have been moving bees around for generations to pollinate different crops, catch different necter flows, so it is certainly feasable. The moves you have planned aren't excessive at all. When taking into consideration holding yards, most commercial beeks move them that many times or more in a year.
You need to do the math to figure if a particular move is economically beneficial, taking in consideration cost of gas, wear and tear on yourself and equipment, your time etc. I have heard various percentages of lost queens, from 0 to 10%, that occur on every move. I tend to think, if care is taken, it is on the low side of those figures but haven't done the research to support that assumption.
Sheri
 

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Thats pretty much what I do.After rabbit brush at 3 or 4 thousand feet we start getting the heck outta Dodge for the winter.Digging hives out of snowbanks for almonds isnt my idea of fun.They will be much better pollinators if you do what you plan.They will respond to stimulative feeding in the foothills in Jan and maybe have some pollen coming in if the weather allows.Sure, moving is stressful to bees (and beekeeps) but its always smart to move to better pasture (and milder winters).
 

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Isn't that more than 14 dollars per gallon? (Given that there is 3.8 liters per gallon, and the conversion is $1.86/£?_

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks folks,

I feel a lot better about proceeding with my plan.

loggermike, where in NE CA are you? I am located in Dowinieville on the North Yuba River. We don't see much rabbitbrush below 5000 ft here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks folks,

I feel a lot better about proceeding with my plan.

loggermike, where in NE CA are you? I am located in Dowinieville on the North Yuba River. We don't see much rabbitbrush below 5000 ft here.
 

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We are in Fall River Valley around 70 miles east of Redding around 3400 feet.There arent huge amounts of rabbitbrush here,just enough to give a good pollen boost at the end of the season.
 

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If you are concerned about losing queens while moving them, you could cage them the day before, and then release them after the move.
 

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For the amount of bees you are moving as long as you do it under cover of night and cooler temperatures, you should be fine. I work for a large Bee Farm on the East coast. The parts of moving bees that are the most damaging is loadind and or unloading during daylight fly times. And traveling under net in high temperatures. If they start flying before you set them at thier new address is when bees get lost. If the bees do not recieve some sort of precipitation while traveling in heat they can cook. When we ship semi's we normally have about 5 gallons of dead bees on the trailer which isn't really that many considering there is normally about 500 colonies on our truck loads.
 
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