Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any problem moving hives about 30 to 40 feet from where they are currently located?

I assume, since it's not that far away, that all of the field bees who are out will find the hives fairly easily.

If I have to move them (might have to have the area dug up to repair sewer line issues, not sure yet until they come do an inspection of the line with a camera), I would do it at night, seal the entrances, etc.

Am I correct in assuming this will be no big deal for the bees?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
723 Posts
It'll be a BIG deal...

There will be people here that will tell you that you can do it by putting sticks/grass in front of the entrance in the new location and that they will reorient to that spot. I've done it numerous times thinking maybe, just maybe, this time it'll work. It NEVER has. What will happen is the field bees will go back to the old spot and continue going back to that spot. You can put an empty super there, they'll go it, and you can place it back onto the new spot. But they'll keep going back there for many days.
Solutions...
1. Move the hive 1-2 feet a day.
2. Move the hive 3+ miles away for 4 days and then move it back.

I have found #2 to be the best....and quickest. Ask a friend that understands bees or that has a little land. You'll be surprised at how many friends get a little excited to have them there. One friend now insists that I keep a couple of hives at his land. He loves that his kids get to watch when I'm working the hives.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,519 Posts
No big deal here. I used to move the the 2 miles but wanted to try another method. This is what I found from the 2 times I've tried it.

I moved 7 hives 30 to 40 feet about a month ago. It was cooler and I moved them when none of the bees were flying that day. I covered up the entrance losely with evergreen branches (my preference as they are visually dense and don't wilt quickly) and left. The next day there was some confusion but not the Chinese fire drill I expected. The next day even less. I removed the branches 5 days later when there didn't appear to be any confusion and all has been good. I left no hives or nucs in the original area for any of the confused bees to drift to. I'm soooo glad I moved them. Now I can drive behind the hives to work them and they are in full sun to make them less inviting to SHB's.

I moved another one the same distance two weeks ago. The hive was very strong. I wasn't as concerned about losing any confused bees as I needed a nuc to get a boost. I moved the hive 30 to 40 feet during the early morning and losely covered the entrance with evergreen branches. A few field bees were already out and about. I put a nuc in the hives old position. I came back a day later and the hive was acting normal, the nuc had gotten 2 frames worth of field bees and my job was done.

I found this method easy and will continue to do it in the future. Consider a hive when their tree falls. Do the field bees hang on the nearest branch waiting for death to arrive? Nope, they start looking and smelling about for their hive. Now if the hive is completely gone (hauled off by a tree removal company) they will eventually cluster and wait for the likes of me to show up and vacuum them up, but that's after they've exhausted all efforts to find the hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
... I put a nuc in the hives old position. I came back a day later and the hive was acting normal, the nuc had gotten 2 frames worth of field bees and my job was done....
What do you do with a nuc with nothing but field bees in it now? Are you going to move it 3 feet every few days?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,519 Posts
The nuc was established with a newly introduced queen (B Weever) and two frames of brood and nurse bees. I had stolen the frames to introduce the queen on them about 5 days prior. The queen had been released. I looked at the nuc hive this morning and they are drawing out the 3 undrawn frames nicely and the queen is laying well.

I thought I'd see a noticable loss of field bees from the original hive that I moved. I didn't and I'll be dropping a drawn super on them this weekend. When I looked at them last weekend they were full but not crowded. There were alot of frames of capped brood though and I don't want to loose them to swarming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Any problem moving hives about 30 to 40 feet from where they are currently located?
..............
If I have to move them (might have to have the area dug up to repair sewer line issues, not sure yet until they come do an inspection of the line with a camera), I would do it at night, seal the entrances, etc.
......
Would it be easier if it is just a day or two dig to put a screen on the entrance and just move them out of the way. Then when it is over put them back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Idea #2 from riverhawk would be the best way. Putting obstacles in front for reorientation may or may not work. If it doesn't work, you will lose many foragers. The bees orient to a large area. They will remember where the hive was before.
Over 2 miles is outside of their normal range and they will definitely reorient at that distance.
Do you have any contacts that would let you place your hives for a few days?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
#2 and it takes more than 4 days for them to forget where they were when you return them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I move them, put a branch in front, and stuff a little grass in the entrance. I do this right before dark. I believe the field bees are all home for the night. Do bees fo foraging for days without returning? If this were so, then you would still have returning bees even if you moved them 10 miles away.
I think if you move them miles away and the bees rely on their memory alone, without having to re-orientate, a lot of bees would leave and not find their way back to the new location. Therefore I would still use the branch, at the far away location, then at their permanent location again. I vote, just move them the one time, like I do and like Michael B. suggests.
Robee
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top