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I will be splitting a very strong hive into 4 once the flow is over. I don't want to move them off the property. If I move the parent hive and the three splits all 30 feet away from the original spot, will this lessen the effects of drift? I know Mike bush says 1 inch or 2 miles no diff, but I don't believe I have read anything about moving them all minimal distances. Thanks
 

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Yes, it will lessen the effects of forage bees drift. A bee will take it's orientation flights when 10 days old, and then return to the hive to start nectar, wax, then guard bee duties for almost two more weeks before becoming a forage bee. Those bees over ten days old may try to drift back to the old location some. The forage bees definitely will. I would check on the population of them all for a few days after making the splits.
 

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Thanks Ray. I plan on leaving nothing at the original site, will the current foragers choose one of the other hives that are now 30-40 feet away?
 

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Yes they will circle around until they find a hive to enter. The hive with the queen will most likely get the majority of them.
 

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I split and leave them inches to each other. Spilt in the evening and stuff twigs, grass, or weeds in the entrance. They chew their way back out and reorient, very little to no drift. Move the parent colony a few feet from original spot. I've been doing it this way for years and haven't had any problems. I have too many to move any distance and find this works well. If any seem to have a lower population than the others swap location with the one that has the highest population.
 

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> If I move the parent hive and the three splits all 30 feet away from the original spot, will this lessen the effects of drift? I know Mike bush says 1 inch or 2 miles no diff

Well, 1 mile might make little difference, but anything over that would. Under that, they will fly back to the original location if they know it (all the field bees know it) and so you will have drift. If you want to mitigate drift for a split, then there needs to be NO hive at the old location. Then they choose based on other criteria. They will tend to drift into the nearest hive to the old location that is facing the same direction.

> but I don't believe I have read anything about moving them all minimal distances.

Mine are usually touching the original hive. I just shake in extra bees or I don't worry about drift at all. Or swap places in a few days to equalize things a bit. Just don't do it 12 to 20 days later when a new queen is likely to be mating...
 
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