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First let me say my mentor has just had a large section of his lung removed and just got over open heart surgery and a near fatal heart attack. He was going to sell me two of his strongest hives complete with bees drawn comb etc. He's a family friend and had been in the honey business for about 56 years. I fear I will not have the oppertunity to learn from him before his passing. His wife is fully aware of his wishes and will sell me the hives if the worst happens. I have two main questions.
What is a fair price for a complete hive with gentle bees?

When I say complete hive I mean, bees, two brood chambers, two med. supers and all the other essentials. I know the gentleman was going to give me a cheaper than dirt price but if something should happen to him I want to be more than fair to his widow.

Second. When I move the two hives, should I do it at night? My mentor told me I would close the entrance, I guess I do that at night too. After I get them home to I leave them shut up a couple of days to get them addjusted to the place, or just let them go?
 

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I'm not sure of the price of a hive in your area, but I would think $150-$200 each would be a fair price. In regards to moving them go over at night and screen off the entrance with window screen or 1/8" metal screen like we use on screen bottom boards, put a strap around each hive (after screening) and move them. When you arrive at you location unstrap and pull the screen, do not leave them shut up for a couple of days. Good luck, and sorry to hear about your mentor and friend.
 

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Sorry about your mentor.

I would move the hives during daylight; early,.early morning if possible. Have a plan and work quickly to close the entrances soon after dark the evening before, when all the bees are home. The 1/8 inch metal screening will provide ventilation during the night. Any problems that may arise can be better dealt with in natural lighting, when moving bees.
 

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I moved a loaded hive this weekend. Went over at dusk, it was chilly so there were only a few, one or two bees, out. I had stapled a piece of fabric screening on to an entrance reducer leaving about an inch over hang. When we got to the hive I pushed the reducer into the opening and stapled the screening tight to the box and base. We used one ratcheting strap to hold the whole hive together. We had to move it right then (it was two hours away) When we got home we just left the hive in the van in the garage. I hoped that if we'd jostled the cluster too much the warmth of the van would give them time to huddle back up before the temperature dropped. The next morning once the sun was up and warming the air we moved the hive to the cement blocks I'd put out the day before. I removed the entrance reducer and screen and stuffed the entry with grass. The grass would slow them down so they didn't just fly out in defense and eventually they would be able to get out without much effort.
Today they are out flying and bringing in pollen.
By the way I paid $200. for two hives (only one with bees) and wooden ware. The gentleman I bought from sold after a bear torn down his other hive twice and he lost interest.
 

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Go to the hardware store and buy some coarse steel wool. Take a pad of steel wool and stretch it out like you would play dough. Plug the opening of the hive with it. Use as much as needed. No staples or screen or tools required. Course steel wool provides plenty of ventilation and is easy to plug an opening with and remove after relocating hive.

One other thing....make sure you have your hood or beesuit on when unplugging. Bees get pretty pissed after being jossled around during a move.
 

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It is a difficult time for sure.

Has any one mentioned the distance of the move? I have heard of the two feet or two miles rule. Whereas you have to move them either less than two feet or more than two miles to minimize the bees getting lost trying to find the previous hive location. This will also need to be considered if not already.

As for the price, you will have to go with your own concience, $200 each would be more helpful and a greater tribute to your friend and mentor.
 

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My 2¢ worth: move them early in the day. The evening before, close the entrance with window screen, steel wool, etc. to block them inside but allow ventilation depending on your local weather. I like to take a strap and bind the hive bodies together unless they're secured together already. The straps I'm talking about are those used to bind a load, anchor an ATV to a trailer, etc. with ratcheting latch. That's maybe not essential, but our roads aren't all paved smoothly around here and a little insurance is never a bad idea. I have moved hives at night, but did the same steps- wait 'til evening, seal the entrance with a screen and load them up.
 

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only one thing to ad, do you know if the inner covers are made with a bee escape/top entrance for winter exits? if so you will need to go a few dats before and make sure they are turned up to close any top exits before you start the move. don't ask how come I am thinking to say this...:doh:
 

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:lpf: pay attention to Bigbore's comment! And for me, I've moved at night. last move was 2 weeks ago. I took some duct tape, taped over the entrance, strapped the hive together with a rachet strap, friend and I picked it up, put it on the pickup, and away we went. At the new location, undid the strap, pulled the duct tape, quickly threw grass over the entrance, and booked it out of there.... they were a bit miffed, to say the least. But the move was done in one step, which minimized their disruption. And my inconvenience.

And it is always sad to lose a friend and mentor. You are to be commended, wanting to do right by his wife.
Regards,
Steven
 

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I two am a early evening mover. If it is a long move I had made up a piece of a special box that has 1/8 screening over the bottom. I place some cleats down the special box then the bee boxes with out bottom board with a screen inner cover board on top and strap it down. Species box started out as a deep double nuc that got cut down.
David
 
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