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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three hives that I need to move about 100 feet. I've read Michael Bush's comments on doing so (basically just move them and obstruct the entrance so they re-orient), but I'm wondering if I can finesse it a bit, though this may be overthinking things...

The three hives are very different and are all next to each other:
- Two are from a spliit made two weeks ago. The queenright one has a relatively low population in two deeps and is quite calm. The queenless one (currently with queen cells) is booming in two deeps and two mediums and is HOT HOT HOT.
- The third is a split made about 6 weeks ago in a single deep.

I could just move them all at once and let the bees figure it out. I was thinking that instead I could move the big hot hive and one of the others and leave the one of the smaller hives in the original location of the big hot hive. This way any returning foragers would go to that hive, boosting it's population. The downside of this is that it would create a dis-incentive for the foragers to locate where the new location of their hive is, and would also still mean I have to move the last hive and potentiall lose some foragers.

Thoughts? The more I think about it the more it seems as though just doing it all at once is the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It depends on what you want for an outcome. You seem to know the concepts. I would try to weaken the hot hive as it will help their demeanor...
#1 desired outcome is just moving the hives. It's not urgent but has to be done over the next week or two.
#2 is certainly to weaken the hot hive.

Am I right that my idea of moving the hot hive first with the other one or two to follow is the best way to accomplkish both?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It occurs to me that in addition i should NOT attempt to force the bees from the hot hive to re-orient, but rather just let the foragers go back to the old location and join either small hive that's left there. Fewer bees in the hot hive, more in the weaker ones.
 

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Fewer bees in the hot hive, more in the weaker ones.
Then you might have hot bees in all three hives. :eek: It depends on if it's due to genetics, or being queenless.

If you leave one hive back for a while to pick up the stragglers, you could move it later to a new location a few miles away for a week or so (if that's possible) and then bring it back. They will all reorient to the new spot.
 

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I will make an assumption that you are moving the hives because of some issue with the hot hive. Move the hot hive now. The issue may go away and then you don't have to move the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will make an assumption that you are moving the hives because of some issue with the hot hive. Move the hot hive now. The issue may go away and then you don't have to move the others.
Thanks, but actually I just need to relocate them on the property due to the owners request. Dealing with the hot hive is a secondary issue.
 

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Dealing with the hot hive is a secondary issue.
In the process of moving this one I would split, deep and medium to each half. If you can pull a frame out that has the cells for each half it would be good. Otherwise it would just be by the box. If there is no queen there is no preference. Some of the bees are going to go back to the old location so the neighbor or land owner will have to deal with that for a couple of days. Then you will have the same situation when you move the other two. However you will have two chances to pull the nasty bees away form this location and reorient.
 

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They are probably HOT because they are queenless. Chances are that their demeanor will calm down once they have a laying queen.

Move them all at once and be done w/ it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They are probably HOT because they are queenless. Chances are that their demeanor will calm down once they have a laying queen.
Actually the hive was hot before I split it. The queenright half is calm now, the other larger queenless hive remains hot. Certainly being queenless isn't helping!
 

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the other larger queenless hive remains hot. Certainly being queenless isn't helping!
You are going to have to break it down to move it so why not split it again if you already have queen cells? Splitting and moving go together. If the hive / hives remain hot you are going to have to requeen and making a hot hive weaker will make the job easier. The hives that I have split have only gotten testy not hot and only for a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are going to have to break it down to move it so why not split it again if you already have queen cells? Splitting and moving go together. If the hive / hives remain hot you are going to have to requeen and making a hot hive weaker will make the job easier. The hives that I have split have only gotten testy not hot and only for a few days.
Good point. I don't really need another hive though, plus digging into the hot hive (even in two pieces) to make sure there are QC's in each isn't something I'm thrilled about doing…
 

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I wouldn't be thrilled about doing it either but the bigger you let this hive get the more difficult it will be to deal with. If you are not wanting more hives split it into 4 pieces with some distance away from each other so you can deal with each piece. The individual pieces might calm down and if they don't you can dump them.
Here is some advice and you can take it for what it is worth. Get rid of those deeps. Go to all 8 frame mediums. Why, because they are way easier to manage. Everything is the same and interchangeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bison, how are you going to move them? How big is the biggest one?
The big and hot one has one deep and three mediums (the top medium probably only has a bit of honey in it). It's kind of inverted, with two mediums on the bottom that had most of the brood, then the deep (prob some brood, but more stores), finally a medium on top. Before the split it had two deeps and two mediums. I split it into two deeps (one of which was largely empty) and two mediums (both mediums packed with bees), leaving the two mediums in the original spot (so it's gotten all the foragers). I'd added the deep on top of the two mediums to give them some room, then put another medium on top as they're bringing in nectar like crazy.

I saw QC's a week ago in the second medium up from the bottom, didn't look at the bottom medium.

I have to screen in the hives early tomorrow morning as the landowner needs to do some work near the hives and doesn't want to get stung (imagine that!). I was planning to go back around noon and take off the top deep/medium and put them on a spare bottom board, then put a top on the remaining mediums (that's where the angry bees will be). I'll them move the two parts and re-assemble roughly 100 feet away. I'll take a wagon and a dolly and see if I need to use them or if I can just carry them myself.

As noted, the other split hive is two deeps (but one is largely empty), and the final hive is a single deep. Shouldn't be much of a problem moving them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I moved them this morning. I screened all the hives in before dawn as the owner needed to do some work in the area. Went back around 10 and cleared the new area about 75 feet away from the existing. I then too the top couple of boxes off the hot hive and put them on another bottom board that had a screen on it and put a cover on the bottom boxes. Went well, very few bees got out. Then I moved the two pieces to the new location as well as one of the other single deep hives and moved the stand over. Put the hot hive back together and the other hive next to it, then put branches over the entrances to both and pulled off the screen from the entrances. That got the hot hive going as a lot of bees poured out of the bottom, but not a big deal and i just walked away and left them to buzz around.

I left one other single deep hive in the original location as well as a nuc. Will move them in a couple of days.

Plan is then to leave them all alone for a couple of weeks and check back. By that time they should all be settled down and the queenless hot hive should both have a new laying queen and a smaller population from dying bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Following up on this for anyone who was interested... I checked the hives today for the first time since moving them two weeks ago and they are all doing great. The half of the split with the original queen is booming so I added two supers to it. The other half that had been so ornery is still a bit cranky but not nearly so much. Assuming it successfully made a new queen she should be laying about now, I'll check on that next week. It's numbers are down a lot and there are lots of dead bees on the ground outside the entrance, so the old mean ones are dwindling. Meanwhile it's making honey like crazy, so I took out five deep frames of capped honey. The final hive, an earlier split, is doing fine so I added a second deep.

Long and short, my "move them and forget about it" approach seemed to work just fine!
 
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