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Author Topic: Moving Hives  (Read 1281 times)
Chad S
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Location: Groton MA


« on: April 25, 2005, 10:38:18 AM »

As suggested I broke up my straight line of hives to 3 hives and 50' away 2 hives.  Took what seemed to be the strongest of the hives, and set it next to a hive that seemd weeker as the pair set aside.  I set the stronger hive up wind of the weeker hoping that any drifting that took place would benefit the weeker hive.  The 3 remaining hives I set in more of a semi circle configuration, and slid them further appart.  I also added syrup, and checked frames.  I did add another frame of foundation which was a snug fit, but they were building burr comb, and I wanted to keep that to a minimum.  I took one comb out that was about 4"x 6" beautiful white wax.  All bees seemed to be active.  

I did this on Friday afternoon/evening thinking that the cold rainy Saturday would keep them in, and give them a day or so to settle to their new locations.  Sunday afternoon was breazy, but the sun finally broke and the bees came out.  The down wind hive of the three hives the spot where I removed the strongest hive had a bunch of bees flying in front of it.  The other two that were located at the origional spot also had active bees in front.  The two hives that I moved had very little activity, and it seemed to me that bees were only flying out, and very few were returning.  The weeker of the two seemd to have very little activity at all.  I did slide the top off, and there seemed to be plenty of bees around the whole in the inner cover.  I didn not take the inner cover off I did not want to make things worse by disturbing them.  All bees bees were installed from pkg. 7-14.

My hope is that the two hives that got moved didn't appreciate being jiggled, and that they will pick up in activity over the next couple of days.  My question is when hives are moved how much disruption is caused, and what kind of reaction should I expect.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2005, 11:06:58 AM »

Moving them was probably no more than a natural earthquake to them. But!!!
The two that were moved 50 ft. are probably flying out and returning to the old spot. They could even have integrated with the other three hive. M. Bush says to place twiggs and grass and stuff in front of the entrance so the bees will know there has been something different, and will re-oreintate themselves. Has there been a bunch of bees grouped in the evening where the hives use to be?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2005, 11:23:55 AM »

You need to trigger orientation or the field bees will go back the old place.  A branch will do it.  Confining them for 72 hours will do it.
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Michael Bush
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Chad S
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Location: Groton MA


« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 11:48:40 AM »

Thanks guys.  Jerry you pretty much described it.  It's not as if they all vacated the premises, but if enough leave then the hive will be set back. I couldn't figure out how to get them to go to the right place  I thought the weather would have kept them in long enough, but I guess not.  Will get a branch or two up this afternoon after work.

* Note to self: ask questions BEFORE making major changes.
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Chad S
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 08:33:41 AM »

Well here we are just two short weeks later, and let me tell you what I found last night when I went to feed the Bees.  The first of the two hives that I moved was pretty well robbed out.  There were a few bees, and a queen.  The second was pretty much the same.  What brood had been growing had chilled and turned dark.  There were not enough bees in either of these hives to sustain the queen.  Went to the three hives at the origional location, and suprise, suprise, they were packed with bees.  Took a frame of brood and bees hosed them down with Lemon Grass syrup from two of the three hives, and added them to each of the struggling hives.  The third box I opened I took two frames of bees hosed them down with Lemon Grass syrup and dropped one in each of the two struggling boxes.  Looked over each frame very carefully to make sure there were no Queens on the frames that I swopped out.  I reduced the entrance on the struggling hives and put the brush back in front of the openings.

I am tempted to switch the boxes again this weekend for a bit of reverse fortune, but I am conserned that with such a low population the returning field bees might kill the queen.  So I will just have to wait it out, and see if I was able to correct the situation.
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