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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Gang,

Getting some Bees in the Spring. The person I am buying from has requested that I bring my new hives to him for installation, though he lives a bit away I don't have a problem with this as I would like everything to go as smooth as possible.

When I go to pick up the hives... what is the standard procedure? Here are my questions?

- I assume I will go at night - correct?

- Should I take some sort of covering for the 2 hives? (Cardboard boxes, Sheets, tarps, ???)

- I should probably have their stands ready so that I will unload them immediately upon arrival.

- Would I use an entrance reducer the first few weeks?

Thanks in advance. More questions to follow I'm sure.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Are they established hives? Nucs? Packages? I wouldn't want to be transfering from one box to another in the dark. Bees crawl a lot and are not in a good mood at night. But if you're closing them up and loading them whole, night is the time to do it as they are all home.
 

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- I assume I will go at night - correct?

Probably late evening will be best, as most of the field bees will have returned to the hive by then.

- Should I take some sort of covering for the 2 hives? (Cardboard boxes, Sheets, tarps, ???)

Depends on how hot the weather is and whether you are moving the hives in the back of a truck (open air) or inside a cab or car. If you are moving the hives in hot temps and they do not have much airflow, screening the top and/or bottom is a good idea to prevent overheating. I have a double screen board that has been so very valuable for moving hives and swarms. Or, if you have some window screen material laying around, that and a roll of duct tape or stapler can work to close the top of the hive.
If temps are cooler or air flow is extreme, the cardboard and duct tape will work. Just remember that bees may eat through the cardboard if you store them in your basement overnight (don't ask me how I know this :eek:) Even in that case, I would use screen wire (#8 or smaller) to close the bottom entrance.

- I should probably have their stands ready so that I will unload them immediately upon arrival.

If you go in late evening, it is ok to let them sit until the next morning. If you can place them on the stand as soon as you get home, I would recommend waiting until dawn the next morning to open them. That will give them a little time to "settle" before you take the wire off.

- Would I use an entrance reducer the first few weeks?

Yes, congestion is better than an entrance too big for the bees to protect. With swarms I often place a queen excluder between the bottom board and lowest hive body as a queen includer. But if this is a nuc, the bees are not likely to leave the brood.
These answers are based on your new bees being a nuc. If they are package bees with a new queen, the answers will be different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much.

The Bees will be Nucs in both hives, it's just the Breeder (Keeper) wants to install them himself. I plan on leaving the Hives with him for approx one week to let them get used to the hive.

Thanks again.
 

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a week seems excessive i would just load them up and go home and place them in there new location.then open them up don't worry if more than 5 miles they will reorient thereselves to there new home.
 

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If you are taking them from his nuc (5-frame) to your 10-frame setup, Take a strap ratchet strap with you that's long enough to go all the way around the bottom board, hive, inner cover, outer cover and be able to tighten with the ratchet.

Use a screened bottom board so the bees will have ventilation while in travel. Might want to put a couple of 2X4 (scrap) under both ends or both sides so that the air can easily flow up from the bed of you pickup trough the screened bottom board.

Take you some screen wire and a T-50 staple gun.

It would be best to do this in the evening if the nuc is open and the bees are flying.

He should have them shut up when you arrive so that all of the bees are in the nuc.

Nuc shut up: make sure you do not have more than 4 or 5 frames in the hive you are taking. Cut enough screen wire to close up the entrance to your hive with the staple gun. Have the ratchet strap already around the hive with the ends right beside each side of the hive. Spray the frames in the hive until they are wet with sugar water just before transferring the bees from his nuc. Quickly open up the nuc, put the frames and bees from the nuc into the middle of you hive (brood box), take the nuc, turn it over and knock it a couple of times to make sure all of the bees in the nuc are in you brood box. Quickly put on the inner cover and outer cover and strap down with the ratchet strap. Should be able to easily pick up the hive by the strap and put it in the back of your pickup.


Open nuc with bees flying: Put your hive exactly where the nuc is sitting and facing the same direction as the nuc. Make sure you have enough frames left out so that you can put in the 5 frames from the nuc. Cut the required screen wire and staple it only at the bottom or top. Have the ratchet strap ready as described above. Spray the frames with sugar water as described above. Transfer the bees from the nuc as described above and close up hive and rachet down as described above. As it gets a little late in the evening most bees should be in the box. Finish stapling the entrance and take bees home as described above.

Now I am not an expert, but this has worked for me when I have gotten swarms, trap outs, cut outs, doing splits and then moving the bees to another location.
 

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Has anybody thought that the guy he's getting them from probably knows how to do all this? He could very possibly call the guy and ask what he'll need.
 

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It never hurts to have options and some knowledge of 1 or more options. Most people are more comfortable when doing something new and have some knowledge but are not narrow minded to think that what they were just told (like I did) that it was the only way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all for the info (except Fish stix :D)

The gentleman I am buying from is very busy and doesn't have time to chat.

He is calling the shots so if he wants to install the bees and keep my hives for a week or two then that is fine with me. I will use the advise here (esp standman & USCBeeMan) to make sure the pickup and delivery goes smoothly.

Thanks again.
 
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