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Discussion Starter #1
I build some new hive stands to replace my impromptu stand I built for my first season last year. I'm wondering the best way to swap stands without disturbing things too much. Should I have someone help me pick up the hives whole and set them aside long enough to swap in the new stand? Is it ok to take the hives apart level by level and set aside? I didn't know how much the bees will be disturbed if they are set in a different location for the 30 min or so it would take me to clear and level the ground, place fabric and stones, and then set the new stand up. Any advice? Thank you.
 

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Howdy! This may not be the best answer, but this is the way I would do it. I would first do any work I could get done prior to moving the hives. Then I would go out there before sunrise and cover the doors with #8 hardware cloth so they can’t get out, move them, do your work quickly, and set them back up on the new stands.

If you can find a buddy to help, that would be great. Front end loaders are really handy. In the past, I’ve moved 2-deep hives hernia style - a good ratchet strap around the whole thing and a lot of grunting.

Ryan
 

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So much depends on the size of hive (how many boxes etc) and how populated the hive is.

30 mins. is nothing in the life of a colony (except you'll be working through a cloud of bees if the hive has been opened), so don't fret about that - but one method I've used in the past when working single-handed with large colonies is to set up your new stand immediately adjacent to (or behind) the existing stand. Then - break the hive apart, and immediately re-assemble it on the new stand. You'll then need to pull the old stand well clear, as otherwise the bees will start to accumulate on it. That method enables a switch to take place inside a few minutes, and the bees soon adjust to the new entrance position.

Keeping to the old stand position isn't normally a problem with a smaller colony, as you should be able to either lift the boxes as one unit (strapped together) or work through the small cloud of bees which develop whenever a hive is broken apart.

If you can get some muscular assistance, then bodily moving a whole BIG hive (well strapped together) then becomes an option - it really all depends on how big and heavy each hive is. :)
Good luck.
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If you have to have the current stand location as the permanent one, build a temporary stand either in fron of or behind the existing one. Use 4x4s and concrete blocks. Set the hives on the temporary stand intact or break them apart, move, reassemble, and wait for the activity to die down before working on the new stand. Following day, move them back.
 

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I am not sure about your weather or when they do reverses in the Spring in your area, but I would take the opportunity to reverse as long as you are replacing hive stands. If its too early, I would wait and swap out the hive stands at that time. It would really help if you have an extra bottom board so you can reverse box by box as you take them off. I think for someone like me who only has a few hives, extra bottom boards are a good investment. Each year I swap them out. When a rainy day comes along and I need something to do, I clean them up, re-glue/screw and paint them so they are ready for next year. J
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't heard about Spring reverses. That is something I will try to learn more about. Things are getting warmer here lately. Almost 70 today and tomorrow. I will do some more research on what reversing is. Thanks for the advice.
 

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Two hives, two deeps each with quilt box and candy board on top that I will be removing soon. One hive is more populated than the other but I can tilt both from the back without too much effort when I tested the weight of the hives. I think two people could pick the whole assembly up without much trouble.
 

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Two hives, two deeps each with quilt box and candy board on top that I will be removing soon. One hive is more populated than the other but I can tilt both from the back without too much effort when I tested the weight of the hives. I think two people could pick the whole assembly up without much trouble.
Use a few bricks, concrete blocks, or boards (whatever is handy) to make a temporary stand a few feet away and out of your way, or just set the hives on the ground if it isn't going to take you long. Move the hives whole or piecemeal (it doesn't matter) to the temporary stand. Set up your new stand. Move the hives to the new stand immediately or later (it doesn't matter). Make it easy on yourself. Wear a bee suit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Use a few bricks, concrete blocks, or boards (whatever is handy) to make a temporary stand a few feet away and out of your way, or just set the hives on the ground if it isn't going to take you long. Move the hives whole or piecemeal (it doesn't matter) to the temporary stand. Set up your new stand. Move the hives to the new stand immediately or later (it doesn't matter). Make it easy on yourself. Wear a bee suit.
This is what I will do. Thank you.
 

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I have a couple of Kaptar Lifts. They are great for lifting boxes for hive inspections, moving hives, changing boxes, bottom boards, and hive stands. They are a bit pricey but if you have an injury of medical limitation, worth every penny. Just clamp on the box or entire stack, break the propolise seal and lift to the height desired. Lock it in place, do your work, then lower the stack back down into place. Most of the time the bees hardly knew I was there.
 

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I build some new hive stands to replace my impromptu stand I built for my first season last year. I'm wondering the best way to swap stands without disturbing things too much. Should I have someone help me pick up the hives whole and set them aside long enough to swap in the new stand? Is it ok to take the hives apart level by level and set aside? I didn't know how much the bees will be disturbed if they are set in a different location for the 30 min or so it would take me to clear and level the ground, place fabric and stones, and then set the new stand up. Any advice? Thank you.
for what it is worth, I would not crack my hive open in the spring like it is now, below 55 degrees. So if you can set it aside blocked with #8 Hardware cloth fix the spot and move back then that is fine. if you need to break it down , you are 3 weeks early IMO, but I am a bit north of you. you said you could tip it back, a dolley like for moving a stove or washer or dryer may work. Can also set up a spot just next to the hive then move it onto it. 2 feet is ok to move.
GG
 
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