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Author Topic: Moving beehive about 75 feet?  (Read 1582 times)
Creation Keeper
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« on: June 10, 2009, 11:57:39 AM »

Hello! I am looking for help with something, and thank you in advance for any advice you have to offer. We got bees a couple of weeks ago and brought them home to our city lot. Our intention was to bring them up north but once here we realized we could try urban beekeeping. However, the location is not where we want them to be: where they are is about 60-75 feet from where we'd like them to be. Does anyone have a suggestion on the best way to move them?
I saw another post with this question where location was asked: we are located in St Paul Minnesota.

Thank you again!

Natasha
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 12:07:13 PM »

close them up after dark and move them.  they will reorient to the hive tomorrow and be fine. with one hive, and being in the same yard, you shouldn't have to do anything else.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2009, 12:16:04 PM »

Kathyp,

Thank you so much for your answer. I will do it tonight-

Natasha

PS: I love your quote!
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theriverhawk
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2009, 04:08:21 PM »

Sorry to disagree with Kathy but that has not been my experience. I have moved bees 50-150 feet in the past.  The next day, a vast majority of the field bees returned to the original location.  The Dadant "Bible" does say that you can sometimes place/lean a piece of wood over the front so that the bees have to go out the sides and they will reorient to that location.  I have done this without success.  You could place a second hive or at least a super  with some kind of entrance and over at the old location.  Bees will return to it all day.  That evening, you can take it and put it on the new location.  It may take a couple of days, but they will eventually start going to the new spot.  Be patient, though. 
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2009, 04:25:01 PM »

you can also move it a few feet a night until you get it where you want it.  i think with one hive and moving it over night, there should be no trouble.  i have moved hives farther and they reorient to the hive the next day.  certainly, if you move them and it doesn't work, you'll have to do something slower.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
StephenSDH
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2009, 05:21:28 PM »

I just got burned moving bees 50'.  I moved two hives because it had rained for 2-3 days and I thought they would reorientate to the new spot.  I ended up bringing one of the hives back collect the bees with good memories.  I put the hive in a wheelbarrow   Then it took a month to get the hive to it's final location.

I learned that you can move them farther each day by having the entrance face the position they were in the previous day.  I did 5 feet every other day. 

I would guess alot of your adult bees will probably return to the original location.  If possible, it would be best to move to hive 3+ miles a way and leave them there for 10 days.  Then bring it back to the new location.

Good Luck, Steve
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rast
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 05:26:49 PM »

 Like Kathyp said, move em at night. You will have to put something in front of the hive entrance to "confuse" them into reoreinting to the new spot. I like to use a leafy branch right against the front entrance. Important, do not leave anything at the "old" site. If they can smell that they were there, a lot of em will light and set. You will probably still have some that didn't reorient. They will usually find the hive eventually. I've only had one hive that gave me any trouble with this method and I finally set another box down, let them go in it and then "supered" the moved hive with it and they didn't come back.
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 06:54:17 PM »

Kathy was right the first time. You can put a catch box there and carry them to the hive for 3 days, or you can wait 3 days and they will find the hive. Either way, they will all be in the hive in the new location after 3 days.

Or you can move them 5 mile, let the ones that don't reorient get lost, then bring it back to the new spot and let the non-reorienting ones get lost again. That way, you won't have to look at the ones that didn't reorient.
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 08:00:58 PM »

When I first got my bees I had them facing north. I wanted to move them about 15 feet and face south-east. I waited till dark and moved them and place grass in front of the hive. I waited till I got home from work the next day and moved the grass. The bees are coming and going like they were never moved. I didn't have any to go back to the old place. Maybe I was lucky.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2009, 08:44:40 PM »

The old timers each had different methods of getting them to reorient.  You can bang them around, drum them, shake some bees back into the hive, confine them for 72 hours, or just put a branch in front of the entrance.  I would put nothing at the old location until just before dark.  That way they will circle and find the new location.  But the important thing is to get them to reorient as they leave so even if they fly back to the old location, they still remember the new location.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2009, 10:29:55 PM »

I just moved a swarm that had settled into an empty box behind my house a couple of weeks ago. I moved them about 100 to 125 feet to the back of the lot with the rest of my hives and left them screened in for 48 hours. When I went out in the morning to release them I put a bunch of weeds in front of the entrance and then pulled the screen out. They seemed to be coming out and doing an orientation before flying off. I watched them for several minutes and then went to go back into the house. When I got to the pile of boxes under the canopy that I was working on it was like something out of the bees from hell. The air was full of old field bees bombing anything the moved. They got me a half dozen times before I got suited up and went out to retrieve the original swarm and box. I brought it back and put it where it was originally and within a half hour they were all calmed down. I'll be moving them again this weekend but it will be several miles away for 3 or 4 weeks and then bring them back to go out to little yard at they back of the lot. From now on it's the 2 foot or 2 mile rule.  grin
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Creation Keeper
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2009, 09:29:23 AM »

Thank you everyone for your posts! I still haven't moved them (life's been busy) but I plan on trying the move at night suggestion and if that doesn't work we'll move them off  site and then reintroduce.

I'll let you all know how it works- thank you again!

Natasha
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theriverhawk
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 09:42:23 AM »

Seriously, if you have the option of moving 2-3 miles, then take it first. It's 100% foolproof.  Move them, then come back and get them 5 days later.  You'll have ZERO problems.
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annette
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 11:16:04 AM »

My experience moving them about 15 feet.  I moved them at night and placed a branch at the entrance so they would reorient the next morning.  Well surprise, surprise.  Many bees just flew straight out without orienting at all.  Many did orient also.

So in the old location there were many bees flying all around for a few days.  I had clumps of bees all over the place until things calmed down. 

Yes eventually things calmed down and the bees found their way, but I am mentioning this because I wasn't prepared for something like this to happen and I panicked.  Now I know this could happen.
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steveb
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2009, 05:11:23 PM »

Several times I have had to move a hive a short distance and some of the bees refused to reorient no matter what method I tried.  I really like to move them a long distance and then bring them back later when ever possible.
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2009, 08:28:17 PM »

the trick I found moving bee's 100-200 feet was to remove all wood, hives bodies, and blocks from old hive site, you will get a few back but if nothing is there they will leave it, they will still fly there for a few days but over after that.
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