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Discussion Starter #1
I want to switch hives in two places, basically. They're more than two miles apart. Both are four boxes (1 deep + 3 meds, and 4 meds) so a bit taller than the space available in the back of my hatch-back car.

Any suggestions on how to do it?

For ventilation I think it's good to have screen bottoms (8/in. mesh) for the upper section, flush to the bottom of the box, along with something rigged to hold it up and allow air flow from below. I guess that would have to go into place the night before, so the next day I can move each of the two sections separately. I can build something relatively simple, but it's not clear in my mind's eye yet.

Probably this is something that someone figured out already. Ideas? Experience?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Why switch hives? I always say move them if you have a good reason to. Leave them if you don't...

But yes, you can split it into individual boxes if you like and you have enough tops and bottoms. I try to use screened bottoms and my screened bottoms have the entrance blocked so they work fine for screened tops as well...
 

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be aware that when putting the halves back together you may experience some attitude. 1/2 will notice they are queen-less fairly quickly. suit up just in case. the least time apart is probably for the better.
 

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Also some trunks air space leak into the passenger space so keep the lids and bottoms tight. It would be a good idea to have a veil with you at all times.
 

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I have moved bees with a work van, caravan and an outback before. screen the entrances. duct tape any small holes big enough for a bee. bring the roll of duct tape with you, put on a ratchet strap. the biggest fear is heat so turn the a/c on max. a few loose bees will not matter as soon as you are moving they will sit still on their own hive, extra neighborhood bees seem to like to sit in the corner of the rear window. on a long trip if you stop for gas or a coffee to go, they will explore the vehicle until you get moving again. on a short trip like 2 miles a top screen is not required, on a long trip unless the a/c is real good use a top screen. as soon as possible, like when you stop at trip end, place the hives ,open the next morning early or immediately in warm weather. when you open up expect the bees to be in defense mode... I have moved bees mostly well over a hundred miles at a time. the only other thing is to lay down a cheap tarp under the bees. never put them in a trunk... no problem once you get used to the idea.
 

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Mark all the boxes A, B, C, and D and take them all apart placing them on something to keep the honey off of whatever they are sitting on and go. Reassemble upon arrival.

But like Michael asked, why are you moving them? Maybe you only need to move part of each rather than all of both.

If the hive will fit, you can always lay it down on its back. Only 2 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Why switch hives? I always say move them if you have a good reason to. Leave them if you don't...
I found a place for an outyard where another beekeeper has had hives. He thought his last hive had died over the winter. When I told him they were still alive, and after a week or four of not doing anything with them, he decided he's done keeping bees and he gave them to me. I decided to bring them to my backyard where I can be more hands-on, cut out burr comb etc, and bring his survivor genetics into the mix. But I'm maxed out in my backyard, with four hives there already. Meanwhile I have a better location in the outyard. So I'm moving a hive from my yard to the outyard, then I'll use the same screen tops and bottoms, ratchet straps, etc. a few days later to move the new bees to my yard. Is that a good enough reason?
 

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I decided to bring them to my backyard where I can be more hands-on, cut out burr comb etc
Just go spend a couple hours doing that work there at the outyard. Less hassle than a whole hive move.

and bring his survivor genetics into the mix.
2 miles is close enough that his genetics are already in your mix if you're letting your queens mate naturally. If you're wanting more queens/hives grab a frame of open brood with eggs and larvae and a couple frames of honey/pollen and make a nuc. They'll raise a queen, she'll mate, and then you can see if they overwinter with whatever strength they build up before winter.

Is that a good enough reason?
To each their own so only you can decide if it's enough reason. There's nothing preventing you from trying so go ahead and try it, but you might only do it once. ;-)
 

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Kofu,

I move some of mine out in the summer and back in the winter. Out from my 7 K feet home yard in the spring to my 10 K feet outyard for the summer and then back to the home yard for the winter. Moved in my SUV with a screened top/bottom cover over two super units ratchet strapped both ways. Packaged together the night before when the girls are home , and yes there are some hitch-hikers during the 2 1/2 hour drive, but so what. It works !

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #12
be aware that when putting the halves back together you may experience some attitude. 1/2 will notice they are queen-less fairly quickly. suit up just in case. the least time apart is probably for the better.
Thanks. With this idea of a queen-less and a queen-right section, I'm thinking my best option (if there's no brood in the top box) is to shake all the bees out of the top box the day before, screen them in that night, and the next morning move the bottom three together, and the top box separately. I think I can fit three boxes together into the car, upright. That way none of the bees will be queenless. A little crowded for a day, but maybe less attitude.

If the hive will fit, you can always lay it down on its back. Only 2 miles.
Yeah, that's another idea. Maybe a second-best option? Laying it on its back means the frames will stay more or less in place, and the bees won't mind. I guess I'd want a piece of plywood or something at the back to keep the string of boxes from buckling open. And ratchet-strap it well.
 

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queen-less for a couple of miles or an hour or 2 is no big deal but as I said you may notice a temporary attitude change. this short time without a queen is probably less tramatic than a shake-out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
queen-less for a couple of miles or an hour or 2 is no big deal but as I said you may notice a temporary attitude change. this short time without a queen is probably less tramatic than a shake-out.
We're getting into the finer details, and I appreciate the chance to think it through. If I separate the hive into two parts, probably I should do that the day before, -- put two screened frames between the two parts, with a screen on the hole in the inner cover as well, and ratchet-strap each of the two sections to be transported separately. Then at night, close the front entrance. If I do it that way, the box at the top (or two boxes together) will be somewhat removed from their queen for the better part of a day, and completely separated for less than an hour.

I can build the two screened frames, and perhaps I might use them again from time to time. Maybe ~1" thick, for enough strength so I can put straps over them. I feel like I'm reinventing a wheel here. Something that gets used in other ways. :scratch:
 

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the less time the 2 halves are separated the better. putting a screen between the halves should have little effect, if the screen is to be in more than a short time [few hours] you should have a separate entrance for each 1/2.
 

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look at a mann-lake catalog for a moving screen, that is how I figured out how to make a couple , it has been awhile since I had them out but I think I used common 3/4 thick pine, get the outside dimensions as close to super outside size as you can. I used 3/4 x 1 1/4 stock I think. the inside dimensions can be smaller than the super.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
look at a mann-lake catalog for a moving screen
This is what they have by that name: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=mannlake&Screen=DISP_INFO&Product_Code=WW-174. It goes on the front of the hive, and lets "the bees find their way in but not back out." That looks like something else that's worth having, but not necessary for this move.

Your specs for the horizontal screen are helpful. Yes, the sides don't need to be as narrow as the box's.
 

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sorry it must have been betterbee or brushy-mtn. or somebody. it is just a shim with a 3/8 x1/2 groove on the inside with a 5/16 x 1/2 strip of wood stapled in to hold the screen tight. the corners are flat rabbit joints so the screen groove does not go to the outside. I did it with 3/4 x 1 1/4 so the top of the super has full contact with solid wood. I think these used to be called single screen boards or migratory top screens. handy to have a couple on the shelf.
 
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