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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As mentioned in a prior thread I am planning to move 7 hives from their current wind sheltered but morning shade location to an open location that should get morning and afternoon sun...assuming we will at some point see the sun again:)

These were hives started from nucs last May and although both fed and treated they were slow to build, generally weak hives. Two of this group currently have very small populations and I have doubts they will survive the remainder of the winter.

I will be moving them 300 feet or so. Is is it best to move them soon before they are flying about much or wait until they have had a chance to build their numbers up?

Should I leave empty boxes at the original site when I move them or is that an effort of futility? There are a few hives grouped within a few feet of the original position of this poorly thriving group of 7 (these other hives are against the house,face south and seem OK).

Thanks for the wisdom and experience of this group.
 

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I usually won't move any until the first of April here in Ky. Although I moved some the last of January. I had recovered those from a thief. They are still kicking, the ones that were still alive that is.
 

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Whenever you can is when. Don't bother putting any boxes at the original location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all.
 

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I had to relocate the evening before last as the guy who was letting me use his land for my hives changed his mind.
I had only a 1/4 mile move so I was worried about the bees returning to the original location. I wanted to move as soon as possible because pollen was going in at the weekend so new brood is on the way. Any newly hatched bees will obviously need to orientate anyway so it was just the old winter bees I was likely to lose.
I taped up the entrance and moved the hive. I then removed the taped and stuffed the entrance with grass to promote reorientation. Just in case I put a bait hive at the old hive location with the entrance in the same location as the old hive. When I checked yesterday evening there were no bees in the bait hive so I think they must have all found there way back to there new home.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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This is the trickiest time of year for such a move. It can work out really well. If they have been confined at least three days odds are they will reorient when they fly out. But if they don't they could get caught in the cold and be paralyzed before they find the new location. I tend to wait until I know the night shouldn't be below 50 F and move them in the morning so they have time to figure things out before it gets cold again...
 
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