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Hello all,
I will soon have to move my 4 bee hives to a new location about 50 yards from where they are now. I am concerned about the bees being confused about the move and need advice on how to do this with with a minimum of stress on the bees.
Is there a method of forcing the bees to basically reorient themselves to a new hive location? Just coming out of winter I want the bees to bee as productive as possible once they start flying regularly and not waste any energy going to wrong place looking for the hive.
Thanks,
Steve
 

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id move them about 3 miles asap and set them there - MOVE AT NIGHT -
then let sit for about 3 weeks - then Move Back to there NEW home AT NIGHT and you should be good to go - other wise you will lose your older bees and they are the shoppers for food

but only move if the temps are about 50--- you dont want to break a cluster of bees and kill bees
 

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Every time I move bees, short or long distance, I pull up some grass, put in front of the entrance. I don't stuff the entrance, just kind of block it a little bit. That forces the bees to exit slowly, and orient to the new situation. The grass dries and falls away. Or if its already dead, sometimes the wind blows it, bees remove it, or my next trip out I remove it. I've moved hives within an apiary that way, and never lost any by returning to the old location.
 

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I have had the same situation a couple of times. The only way that was truly successful was to move them temporarily a couple of miles. The moving one foot a day took WAY too long. The moving and placing grass/sticks in front of the entrance left a large group of bees continuing to return to the old location.
Here's what I do now...
I ask a friend or farmer that has a piece of land that is at least 5 miles away if I can move the hives to their land for 5-7 days. I move them at night. The next morning, they reorient. After 5-7 days, I move them back to the new location in the original yard. Works like a champ everytime. Has not affected honey production that year at all, even when moved in the middle of the flow.
 

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Move the strongest 2 or 3 first, leaving the weakest 1 or 2 behind to collect the lost field bees for strength. After a couple weeks, then you can move the last 1 or 2, placing objects in front of the entrances to help them to re-orient. If weather permits, try moving the last 1 or 2 at the beginning of a strong rain storm. Bees tend to re-orient again when they've not been able to fly for a few days do to increment weather.
 
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