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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a smaller 12 bar hive I was thinking of putting inside of a now empty chicken coop to protect it from the wind, does the 3 mile 3 foot rule apply in the winter? Or does a long cold spell cause bees to reorient after they come out of cluster? It usually don’t stay cold enough to keep them clustered more than several days until around January here.
 

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I have a smaller 12 bar hive I was thinking of putting inside of a now empty chicken coop to protect it from the wind, does the 3 mile 3 foot rule apply in the winter? Or does a long cold spell cause bees to reorient after they come out of cluster? It usually don’t stay cold enough to keep them clustered more than several days until around January here.
Empty coop a good idea.
Just do it and don't over-analyze.
 

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Hmmm yes, what does trigger re-orientation? If the hive will be a) facing a new direction, b) emerging into a very different scene, and c) there is NOTHING hive-like left in the old location (no stand, certainly no hive), then the bees should either re-orient or should spend a short time flying around the old location. That was a problem for me - I tried a branch and obstacle in the way with the hive entrance after I moved the hives. I left a closed hive in the old location. A hundred or so bees clustered on the old hive and froze that night. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I went ahead and moved them this morning, stuffed some grass in the entrance as extra insurance.
 

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Back to moving hive. Also VERY new to the world of bees. 3 feet 3 miles rule presents something of a problem for us. We need to move our TBH about 30 feet and are thinking one move in the winter [such as we have here]. Considering tail end of November see chart. Orientation of entry will stay exactly the same. Any thoughts on the timing plan, or if we are risking what is a very successful hive? It was placed for us under our fruit trees which makes pruning problematic and despite the guidance we were given and sort of over our objections was placed with open exposure to northern winds which create our worst weather, and offers zero shade for the hive during the peak summer months. New location will offer eastern sunrise, and about 8 hours of summer sun, then shade as the day goes on with substantially more natural wind protection during most of the nasty weather. AVG monthly temps.jpg
 

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.... We need to move our TBH about 30 feet and are thinking one move in the winter [such as we have here]. .....
Just move the darn thing.
Carefully.
With a helper.
Pickup - carefully carry - carefully place onto the prepared site.
Call it done.

Benefit of winter - no need to reorient.
Later in winter is better - lighter hive.
Mitigation factor - 30 feet move - this is a short working distance for two persons - very small chance of creating a mess.
 

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I think the 3 mile/3 ft rule is a bit overdone. I moved a hive 75 ft around a building and they seemed to find it eventually ok. It was still the closest hive around and I saw some bees hoovering over the old location for a couple days, but every evening they were gone. If there were a closer hive I would assume they may find it first and move in. I have moved them 10 ft a day too, and the bees quickly find it. Like already said, don't leave any object or box at the old place or they will call it home.
 

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I think the 3 mile/3 ft rule is a bit overdone. ...
It is overdone.
Just someone came up with a witty combination of the words and it took.

I move bees willy-nilly, as I need - force them to reorient per the common practices - things pan out just fine and I sleep well.
No hive ever died due to a move yet; it wont.
 
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