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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new (this is my second year) beekeeper in Central Portugal.

I've looked at various methods for moving hives and I haven't seen this and wanted comments.

Workers have a memory of the hive location that fades over time (let's say over 4 days). Could you move a hive in the evening, say 50 feet, and then put an aluminium mesh cage over the whole hive to stop them getting more than a couple of feet from the hive. You could put a bucket of water and some sugar inside the cage if necessary to stop starvation or dehydration (probably just water is enough). After 4 days just remove the cage.

NB this is not the 3 feet or 3 miles method or branches in front of the landing board. The mesh would probably only need to be over the front of the hive with space for the water container. It allows the workers out where they can see the sun and new environment. It allows the hive to thermoregulate normally. The mesh may need to be aluminium rather than plastic to stop it being chewed through.

I think this could stop any loss of foragers to the original site.

I was thinking of trying this on a split later in the year but wondered if anyone's tried and failed or thinks more than 4 days is needed, etc.

If this has açready been done I'd appreciate a link or more info.

Thanks
 

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Is something like this what you are thinking of? I've heard that a period of confinement will cause the field bees to re-orient to a new hive location, but I've not tried it myself. You could use a frame feeder inside the hive with some sugar water in it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi MajorJC,

Quick reply :)

It's not quite what I was thinking of but it does look like a similar method. I'll have a look at that (getting late here) tomorrow and get back.

My idea was more like a bigger cage that the foragers can get out of the hive and see the new location for a few days without flying off and getting lost. This (just looking at the ad) looks more like a one way sieve that wouldn't let them get an all round view of the new area.

It may be exactly what I need to get the job done though. I'll have a read around now you've given me a name for something to investigate.

Thank you,
I'll bee back
 

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It technically could work as long as it's not too hot and the bees have everything then need inside the "cage" without getting lost. I'd suspect if you just put a giant net over them they would get out and under the hive, etc.

Give it a try and let us know?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Lonicera, Welcome to the forum. The idea you mention has been tried in various forms before with not so good results, mostly a lot of dead bees. Once out of the hive, the forager bees will literally beat themselves to death trying to get through the cage screen. People have tried mesh tents, plastic and glass greenhouses, etc. and the results have been disastrous. If you want to keep them safe, use a screen like major recommended, or just staple a piece of #8 hardware cloth across the opening. As long as it is still cool and there is food in the hive, the bees will be fine for a few days.
 
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I presume the target distance is more that 3 feet and less than the 3 miles.

so the easy way is load them up and take them to a friend or relative 5 or more miles away, in 4 weeks move them back.

I have several times did the 3 feet thing by putting the hive on a wagon, every other day move the hive 3 feet if in the yard not a big time commitment, does require a fairly flat path to the target spot.
the idea you have seems like it would have issues.

good luck

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gray Goose: as I said in the OP one of the points was as an alternative to moving miles away then back (also this isn't an option).

JW Palmer: That's interesting, I haven't come across that (beating themselves to death trying to escape). I'll have a search for that. Any link would be useful. The hardware cloth I've come across but would limit the ability to fix their location by seeing the new local environment.

I guess the way to go would be to do the experiment but have a backout plan if bodies start piling up.
 

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Give it a go, Lon.
Tell us about your success.
Let the bees inform..

Silly attempt at a Haiku. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ha. Usually the best way; try a thing and learn from the results. Even if it doesn't work it's still knowledge.

I'll let you know what happens.
 

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I'm a new (this is my second year) beekeeper in Central Portugal.

I've looked at various methods for moving hives and I haven't seen this and wanted comments.

Workers have a memory of the hive location that fades over time (let's say over 4 days). Could you move a hive in the evening, say 50 feet, and then put an aluminium mesh cage over the whole hive to stop them getting more than a couple of feet from the hive. You could put a bucket of water and some sugar inside the cage if necessary to stop starvation or dehydration (probably just water is enough). After 4 days just remove the cage.

NB this is not the 3 feet or 3 miles method or branches in front of the landing board. The mesh would probably only need to be over the front of the hive with space for the water container. It allows the workers out where they can see the sun and new environment. It allows the hive to thermoregulate normally. The mesh may need to be aluminium rather than plastic to stop it being chewed through.

I think this could stop any loss of foragers to the original site.

I was thinking of trying this on a split later in the year but wondered if anyone's tried and failed or thinks more than 4 days is needed, etc.

If this has açready been done I'd appreciate a link or more info.

Thanks
Have you tried the putting branches in front of the entrance method? Ive heard other people using that with success.
 

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Gray Goose: as I said in the OP one of the points was as an alternative to moving miles away then back (also this isn't an option).

JW Palmer: That's interesting, I haven't come across that (beating themselves to death trying to escape). I'll have a search for that. Any link would be useful. The hardware cloth I've come across but would limit the ability to fix their location by seeing the new local environment.

I guess the way to go would be to do the experiment but have a backout plan if bodies start piling up.
Lonicera,
If doing it right, and the way to minimally affect the bees is "not an option" then I guess just do the move, and loose the field bees. If the hive has stores they would likely survive. Be a bunch of bees at the old location but you could stomp or spray them, or use a flame thrower, right......

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lonicera,
If doing it right, and the way to minimally affect the bees is "not an option" then I guess just do the move, and loose the field bees. If the hive has stores they would likely survive. Be a bunch of bees at the old location but you could stomp or spray them, or use a flame thrower, right......

GG
But my method (if it works) won't lose the field bees.

If it doesn't work it ends up doing what you suggest. I get a free roll of the dice by trying my method and may get to keep the field bees.

"Doing it right" and never trying/asking about new possibilities means never moving forward. Also the right thing to do can depend on lots of circumstances and may not be the right thing under certain circumstances.

I'll give it a go and try to learn from my mistakes.
 

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When I move a hive, I let the bees out immediately. I place a nuc with a couple of frames with drawn comb in the old location. Each evening or early morning, I take the bees back to their new location. Within a couple of days or so, the bees stop going to the old location. To make things easy for me, I put an empty box over the inner cover. Then, I put the frames in without disturbing the bees.
 

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But my method (if it works) won't lose the field bees.

If it doesn't work it ends up doing what you suggest. I get a free roll of the dice by trying my method and may get to keep the field bees.

"Doing it right" and never trying/asking about new possibilities means never moving forward. Also the right thing to do can depend on lots of circumstances and may not be the right thing under certain circumstances.

I'll give it a go and try to learn from my mistakes.
Agree
go for it
also post the pics so learning can also take place.

good luck

BTW if you can, do the move just before a rain or cold day it would help as they do not fly much then any way.
while "cadged" leave a wet towel or sponge you keep wet, they do need water ,,and would likely have pollen and honey for a few day stored inside.

GG
 

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Lonicera; Just for information purposes, how many colonies are in the apiary, what color are they painted, and is the apiary in an open area or is it wooded?
 
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