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So much for reorienting themselves

4367 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  tanksbees
I moved my hives from my back yard across the driveway about 70 ft . I moved two nukes last evening, single deep 10 frames, and my April packages double deep 10 frames before they got moving this morning. I have one nuke doing poorly so I put it where the best package had been in hopes the odd straggler might help it out.
I leaned sheets of plywood in front of the colonies to force the bees to reorient when they came out of the hive. Now some six hours later, I have a mini swarm where each hive used to be, and the small nuke is covered in bees.
Anything I can do , or do I just hope they sort it out?
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I've used potted plants and such in front of entrances...never sheets of plywood. Can the returning bees see their landing boards/hives at the new location??? Keep your kids/animals away from the old location. Bees that can't find their home are NOT nice.
Hi, Yes , they were only 18 inch strips and I set them to one side just shadowing the opening sstill lots of the box and landing board can be seen
Lost bees are painful to watch... Do you think there is now "too much" for the weak hive to handle? Do you think you should put a new box with frames in the old location to take some pressure off the weak, occupied hive? Hopefully more will chime in, but beyond that, it appears the bees will have to sort it out.
ABruce the obstruction whether it be grass, branches, or plywood needs to block there path and force them to fly around it. Sitting it just to the side of the entrance will not work as you have found out. I have been doing this for years with our nucs/splits because we do not have a second yard to take them to. Most of the time it works fine. When it fails is when I do not block the flight path sufficiently.
Heck of an easy way to make a split, really would only take a single frame and the stragglers would pack it. Pine branch works the best for me, working their way through the needles.

Nothing is 100%.
I am going to attempt exactly that. I just spent an hour in the shop creating a bottom board ,inner, and outer top. I am off to attempt my first split. .So hopefully......
I'm curious about doing a "split" like this. Wouldn't the box be mostly foraging bees? I've always wondered if bees will fill any needed role, or if their age determines it fairly strictly. IE if a package doesnt have enough bees of the House Bee age, will nurse bees step up and take over the duties, or will the duties be left until some bees mature enough to take over?

Sorry for the hijack. But on topic, it seems that their sense of smell is so good that they would figure it out eventually. No?
Hi mattheriage,
I am not sure what will happen, but I will be able to tell you in a week or two. I placed the new hive, with a frame of honey, a partial of pollen and two frames of combination capped , open and eggs.
Since none of my hives seem to have the pollen they did a month ago, I gave them a pollen patty and a frame feeder , I left the nurse bees that couldn't fly off when I shook or swept the frames. I set the hive on the blocks where one of my larger packages was sitting, and I had not even walked away when the front was covered and they were going in. Its well over 100f here so I am sitting in the shade , having a cool drink and watching. As a new this year bee keeper I really had not consider splitting as something I was going to play with this year. Just keeping a bee alive seemed to be enough of a challenge. But nothing ventured nothing gained so I will be smarter in a week or two.
With a move you get bees that have just gone to the field as well as the nearly departed. Drifting is not a problem, so many bees they do not have to do any job well, just a little bit each.

Nice mix, was concerned after I did not say keep the nurse bees on the transferred comb. They do stay a grumpy hive.
I moved some hives. At first total chaos but I forced myself not to look! Next day they had somehow sorted it out. Don't know if they were in the correct hives but they had found a home.
Thanks for your response and words, I really didn't know what to do, as it is we are now hopeful and either way have learned some. The best thing about this forum is the ability to solicit some opinions and advice from others. I appreciate it.
I have to do the same thing before long. about a 50-75 yard move. dont have to but it will make it much easier for the bear fence. Im not looking forward to it. G
Moving nukes is in violation of all kinds of international laws. :eek: Where did you get them from in the first place?! In Canada out of all places!

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Put your nucs (abbreviated form of the word nucleus) back where they were if you want to collect all the foragers back. Then at the end of the day, when the bees are not flying anymore, close your entrances and move your nucs to the new place. Keep bees sequestered for three full days (don't skimp! and make sure you provide adequate ventilation and feed if necessary ) On the fourth day put a tree branch in front of each hive partially obstructing the entrance to the hive and open entrances to the hives. After a day you can remove it. Bees will reorient themselves to the new location and will return to the new location from now on.
I don't get the waiting the 3 days part. Don't they reorient when they fly out with an obstruction? 3 days makes it Sound like their GPS has to get a signal and lock on to the new spot.
The three day thing I have tried when splitting nucs to stop drifting, maybe some help, but was not a complete cure for me. Easier to keep the ones who will stay and collect the ones that will not. More than one way for most things I guess.
So ABruce....Inquiring minds want to are the bees looking there today?
All of the hives, look good, the new hive has lots of bees coming and going, saw one with pollen which I think is a good sign. I will check on the weekend and see if theres a queen cell, almost seems too easy, if there isn't, I am asking around our club to see if anyone has a queen or a cell. We will see where it goes.
An update:
I have been away for work since Monday, arrived home this evening, lots of bees coming and going so they seem to have called this home. I am reading on the forum that maybe a queen cell from a start up like this isn't a good idea. I have located a mated queen I can purchase. I will check the hive tomorrow weather permitting . If I have queen cells should I leave them or should I go with the mated queen?
It'll be fine, this queen was made that way, single frame split

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