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I want to move a hive about 5 feet to the end of a hive stand. I have 2 singles on one end and 2 double nucs on the other end of the hive stand. The configuration I want is 1 single 2 double nucs 1 single for winter. I will have to shift the double nucs also.

My other option is just move them, be done with it and let the bees figure it out.

My question is - will a robbing screen cause bees to reorient?

Any suggestions would be helpful.
 

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In my experience robbing screens are only mild re-orientation prompts, not as strong blocking the whole entrance area with a slanted board and a maze of branches.

But your distances are quite short so you might just try moving them, or work out a plan that scootches them over bit by bit until the order is as close as possible. For instances hopscotching them over each other one at a time.

So if you start with single/single/dbl nuc/double nuc, you move one of the singles between the double nucs, then swap that middle single with the outside nuc and you're done. Or just move the single closest to the double nucs over them both, which would only be a couple of feet.

If possible, move the entire stack, bottom, brood box and top, as a unit. Perhaps temporarily replacing the telecovers (if you use them) with something lighter just for the move.

Some colonies are more geo-centric than others. I have one that has a conniption if I shift it just a bit, but most of mine would handle a five foot move with aplomb. Providing they get good re-orientation help, which for me is a recycled political sign slanted across the entire front of hive with branches leaning up against the triangular openings along the sides of the sign. If all the hives are snugged up in a flush line I would temporarily set some supporting blocks up so that the moved hive stood somewhat proud of the intended line to allow for sideways barricading on the entrance. Then once the bees have worked it out, shift the moved hive back into line with the others. That second move should only take a day or so to accomplish.

I think for new beekeepers moving hives acquires an outsized anxiety. I was really stressed by having to move mine 600 feet last summer. For the most part the moves went OK, with one exception which for some unknown reason failed spectacularly which much loss of bees. For that reason I would now move the hives as much as possible as a unit (which I can do using a tractor to lift them), and always when there is time and temperature and my availability to watch and respond to any unforeseen result. So I wouldn't move just before a thunderstorm when I was I was planning to go on vacation right afterwards. A move on a mild Friday evening when I was planning on hanging out all weekend would be my choice. That way if it really screws up, you can just reverse it and try to find another way. But I think you will probably find it to be an anti-climax after the first hours.

Enj.
 

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Re robbing screens:

Somewhere I saw a simple robbing screen made of #8 wire bent into a w shape. It had no wood as I recall.

Where would I find a design for these and how to use them?

I ask as although we have robber screens they don't with all our hives.
 
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