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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be traveling for 6 days from central Florida to Northern Maine, first week of May.

I would like to take 4 NUC'S with me and each NUC will have a queen.

My plan would be to house them (inside) on top of the car in a carrier (for suitcases). I would drill several holes in the carrier for ventilation.

1. Should I have a water feeder frame for each NUC?
2. Might they survive the trip or is this a stupid plan?

I would put them inside the car--but it's my wife's car--and you know how they can be!

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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I wouldn't do it. My Thule top carrier, even when it's 75 outside and I'm traveling 75 mph, gets incredibly hot inside. We used to leave our lunches up there, and quickly learned anything would melt or turn soggy. It wouldn't take much of the South-East coast to bake your bees. Drilling holes in your, usually, expensive car top carrier doesn't seem like a good option either.

Commercial beekeepers understand how stressful it is on bees to travel long distances, but they do it...

If you kept them in the car, climate controlled, and sprayed a little water in there every few hours they might do fine - even if it's an overnight drive.

Otherwise, why risk it? Pick up some local bees when the weather improves and they are more widely available.

Bringing Florida bees to Maine, where there is still snow, would be one heck of a shock as well!
 

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if I drilled holes in my wife Thule I would end up riding up there with the bees....lol. what about a green bag and keep them in the car? where its climate controlled
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks mtnmyke and ny12569
It’s in my nature to do things the hard way! Getting NUCS while in Northern Maine is not so easy

I don’t have to pay for the ones from central Florida.
I don’t mind putting holes in the carrier, as that would be it’s only use. I just don’t want to destroy them all in the process.
ny— what’s a green bag? I’m assuming it’s a mesh. Who sells it?
 

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"2. Might they survive the trip or is this a stupid plan? "

I doubt they would survive. Yes, it seems to me an incredibly stupid plan. Keeping a nuc shut up for six days?!!
 

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Yeah, we didn't even touch on the 6 day part of your post.

Don't do it. Free bees or not they will more than likely end up dead and nobody wants that.

"I found a free puppy in mexico, I was going to smuggle it back in my luggage and if it doesn't survive...oh well, it was free"

Just doesn't make sense.
 

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I sent a 8 frame hive from PA to Georgia with family. I had the entrance closed up with #8 mesh and had a top feeder hole also closed up with #8 mesh. I double bagged it in two mesh laundry bags. They kept them in the car and spritzed them with water in a spray bottle at every pee stop.

They made it fine after that ride, but 6 days...I don't know.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have used the mesh laundry bags to transport bees that were inside a swarm trap. Worked pretty well for the 1 hour ride. Six days? I'm not sure a package will make it six days in a bee bus or other open screen cage.
 

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I sent a 8 frame hive from PA to Georgia with family. I had the entrance closed up with #8 mesh and had a top feeder hole also closed up with #8 mesh. I double bagged it in two mesh laundry bags. They kept them in the car and spritzed them with water in a spray bottle at every pee stop.

They made it fine after that ride, but 6 days...I don't know.
In the car suggests controlled temps.
 

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I just don't know how many you would have left after 6 days. I would not even consider the car top carrier. Inside, in a controlled atmosphere you would lose a few each day through natural attrition (they don't live very long). In my experience, even with screening the die-off increases some.
Here is one example: Toward the end of each winter we will have teens or single digits for 2 or 3 days after a very warm spell. I will put anywhere between 2 and 6 hives in the basement because they are either small clusters or they have started raising brood and I don't want them separated from their food source.It is between 45 and 50 degrees.There is always one hive that starts buzzing loudly almost immediately and does that seemingly none stop until they are put back out in the yard to fly freely 2 or 3 days later. then I notice a couple handfuls of dead bees. I am in western NC if that means anything.
 

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does your wife's car have a trailer hitch? If so, get the hitch cargo carrier and put the nucs on the outside of the car. I'd never recommend putting them on the top, even in a Thule, you will bake them. https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200696941_200696941

Commercial pollination guys transport bees for up to 6 days cross country and it can be hard on the bees. They need good ventilation and adequate food reserves in the hive. I'd recommend some sort of screened top cover or bottom to help the heat dissipate. I've taken a wooden 5 frame box before ($15 from my local supplier) and stapled #8 to the bottom, loaded the combs of bees and then duct taped cardboard to the top for transporting. You could sub #8 screen for the cardboard, stapling it down and then have some type of solid cover to keep the rain off of them. You will also want to strap them securely to the carrier so they are not stolen at night.
 

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You would be better off putting a trailer receiver on it and a cargo rack in it. Drive Directly home. Do not stop for anything but gas. Unless it was in the middle of the night for food. Then park in the darkes corner of the parking lot.
 

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I would put them in the cab with you in mesh laundry bags. I have done this before, and I had several bees outside the nuc, but they stayed inside the bag so it worked. I would also be tempted to see if you can get a hole cut into the top of the nuc and a screen stapled to the hole so you can put a jar feeder over the nuc when you stop so they are still getting some food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the advise. Carrier plugged into the tow hitch, behind the car, is a great idea--but my nice aluminum carrier is up in Maine and my wife's car does not have a hitch.

**Would a top carrier work if it were the netted type? Like you see on "land rovers"-- And have it top netted and tied in place?

Last resort may be to take only two nuc's, wrap it in laundry bag and plead with the wife--to understand?
 

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In case you aren't aware you need a permit to bring bees or used hive equipment into the State of Maine and the bees will need a health certificate from the State of origin. I don't know how or if this is strictly enforced but it is intended to protect local bees from new diseases or spread of things like Africanized bees. You may want to check with Jennifer Lund the Maine State Apiarist, [email protected] , before leaving Florida.
 

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In case you aren't aware you need a permit to bring bees or used hive equipment into the State of Maine and the bees will need a health certificate from the State of origin. I don't know how or if this is strictly enforced but it is intended to protect local bees from new diseases or spread of things like Africanized bees. You may want to check with Jennifer Lund the Maine State Apiarist, [email protected] , before leaving Florida.
The bees will be long dead before he makes it home. 6 days in the May heat...not a chance.
 

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As a side note to all of this, before you leave I'd put out some swarm traps with Swarm Commander in them so you might have free local bees when you get home.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I would guess that if he does catch a swarm or two, he will have four empty nucs with drawn comb he can put them in.:eek:
 
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