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I have built a stand for 5 hives out of steel with posts sunk in concrete for a permanent location. The hives I want to put on this stand are all within 10-15 ft of it. I need to know a couple of things. How far can a hive be moved per day and still have the bees find their entrance without difficulty, and are there any guidelines on the time of year for moving them? If the weather is warm (60-70 deg), and they are flying, is it safe to go ahead? Thanks in advance.
 

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I often move them 100 yards or so in one step when the weather is nice and the bees are flying regularly. I just close it up after dark and move it. Then I put a branch or something across the entrance to disorient them. This causes most of them to circle right after they leave the hive and get oriented again. If you do this in nice weather when the bees are flying a few will go back to the old place and circle for a while but they eventually find the hive at the new location. I'd be a little worried about doing this when the weather is cold because they do circle a lot looking for the old one and then eventually get big enough circles to find the new one. On a cold day they may get too lethargic to finish this searching method.

If the hive is too heavy to move all at once, I might move some of the heavier boxes to the new location during the day while the bees are flying and leave one box until they all come home for the night and then move it next to the other boxes at the new location. Then in the morning when they are flying I'd put all of the boxes back together again as one hive.

In the cold of the winter I never move them. If you have to, move them, but I'd still put a branch or something in front of the hive to make they look twice as they leave. If they make a note of where they are when they leave the will find their way back.
 
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