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Moving hive a short distance

1061 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NewJoe
I recently caught a swarm of mine from an adjoining property. I had gone unprepared for a swarm grab so I used the only thing I had. A 5 frame nuc with 2 drawn out frames. It was very full for such a small space. I left them overnight and another full day. I went back today to move them over the fence. I figured moving them 10 feet would not be hard for them to figure out, but of course they went back to the old location all confused and such. So, hastily, I managed to get 3/4 of the available bees into a full 10 frame lang hive on my side of the fence. I placed a feeder inside another deep on top of the hive to keep them interested. I did not reduced the entrance because of the large number of bees. My hope is that they don't drift back to the nuc that is in the original spot. I also placed the nuc box with 2 frames back over the fence and immediately, the returning foragers piled into it. Now I have a mess since they are split up. I can go back after dark and move the nuc to my side, but it's a sealed nuc so I can't do a newspaper combine. So my thought is to grab the nuc after dark and get those bees into my hive. Thoughts, ideas?
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Too late, but you probably shouldn't have left the nuc there. The returning foragers would have been confused at first, but then would have circled around until they found the hive. You could go early-ish in the morning and dump the bees from the nuc into the new hive, then don't put the nuc back. They'll sort it out in a day or so. I moved several hives about 75 feet recently and didn't have any problems.

See Michael Bush's comments:
If you move them, place an empty box with a frame in it. Those who come back to the swarming location should go in, then you can dump them into your Nuc or boxes.
Okay bison... going to check out that link right now. I will do that tomorrow morning or late evening. Although I'm not crazy about dumping bees in the dark after reading up on it. I may just move the nuc after dark and put it on top of my hive and let them all reorient tomorrow. I just didn't feel like I could leave them without the nuc. They actually started swarming onto a tree branch just like their original swarm gathering spot.

- John
I would leave them in the NUC. Give them some time to build up.
anytime I move a hive a short distance...even swarms, I loosely pack grass in the opening and put a board or something leaned against the front of the hive for three days. I seldom have any problems with the bees going to the old location.

My hives are on a raised stand, so what I lean against them is a telescoping cover...the lip of the cover goes around the sides of the entrance and the bees have to crawl around it to fly really works great!
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