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Author Topic: Relocated hive and bees going to old location...what went wrong  (Read 1131 times)
Mason
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« on: July 30, 2012, 10:46:13 AM »

I moved a hive yesterday evening well after dark.  This morning the bees are going back to the old location.  I don't know what went wrong.  The hive was moved about 30 feet and is now facing 90 degrees from the direction it was originally facing.

What went wrong?  Will they find the new location? 
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 11:27:42 AM »

Don't sweat it.  I've done this many times.  There will be a some confusion for a day or two but they'll find their way home with no problem.  Just remember, when a bee tree falls 30 foot they always find their way home too.
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tryintolearn
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 01:42:39 PM »

new here....i thought u had to move them 2 miles till old bees died off then relocate?
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D Coates
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 03:27:20 PM »

I used to think that too and moved my hives accordingly.  A couple of years ago I needed to newspaper combine a nuc into a hopelessly queenless hive.  The nuc was 10 yards away.  Being lazy, I tried moving a nuc 5 feet twice a day to see how they'd react (as I went home for lunch and at the end of the day).  There was a minor amount of confusion but in 3 days I was done.  Testing the rule, the next newspaper combine I did I simply moved the nuc about 15 yards onto the hive and let them figure it out.  All was calm by the next day. 

It turns out it's a wives tail.  When you think about it when a beetree falls they always find the "new" home location don't they?  I've never heard of a cluster of "lost" bees clustered above the fallen hive.
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Mason
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 03:55:48 PM »

I had the hive on an old stump.  There was a cluster of bees on that stump this morning.  Mean too.  I got stung twice just standing there looking at them.

I guess time will tell.
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 07:50:45 PM »

Old bees are stubborn.  It is hard to teach old bees new tricks, I mean new home location.  Put a nuc there to collect the bees for a while.   The old foragers will be dead soon. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 09:08:26 PM »

I’ve done what Allen suggests; it is one way to deal with stubborn bees.
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Nature Coast Beek
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 08:34:03 AM »

Don't sweat it.  I've done this many times.  There will be a some confusion for a day or two but they'll find their way home with no problem.  Just remember, when a bee tree falls 30 foot they always find their way home too.

Yeah but...if that bee tree falls in a forest does it make a sound?  grin

Couldn't resist that one!
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D Coates
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 09:21:59 AM »

Yeah but...if that bee tree falls in a forest does it make a sound?  grin

Couldn't resist that one!

Low hanging fruit Wink  Figured someone would take it.
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Mason
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 12:47:34 PM »

By the evening the bees were no longer on the old stump location.  I assume/hope they found their way home. 

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NJClydeDriver
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 01:06:08 PM »

When I move mine I put a small cut off tree branch or tall weed that I break off, in front of the entrance at night and in the morning when they come out, they reorientate (?) to the hive and its like a reset button on the ole internal gps of the bees.  We have a bad black bear problem so I always have to keep bees in an electric fence protected area, my apiary isnt that big so relo to my bees is a matter of feet, not miles.   
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D Coates
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 02:16:46 PM »

By the evening the bees were no longer on the old stump location.  I assume/hope they found their way home. 

I've always assumed the same.  I can't prove otherwise.  I few may end up in other hives but the smell of their own queen is going to be the highest motivator to find home.  I've tried the tree branch trick and found the results to be similar to the simply moving the hive outright.  There were hives that oriented better than others but overall there was a decent amount of confusion that was gone by 24 hours.  I'm basically lazy and I'm always looking for a faster way to do something that gives me the same results.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 09:03:46 PM »

I have always tried to abide by the two feet or two miles rule of thumb but like most things I think that's more for us rule bound humans than the bees. I moved an abscond swarm last night, I hived them yesterday evening, from one side of the house to the other. This morning I had alot of confused bees flying around the swarm site but by this afternoon they were all gone. Again I can only assume they found either their own queen or another one of my hives on the stand.
Of course any of us who have done splits and plopped a nuc down in place of it's stronger parent colony to boost foragers know that bees will allow a certain amount of "strange" bees to adopt a new home. I really think it is a very rare happenstance for bees to get "lost" and die afield for lack of a home.
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Bleemus
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 01:05:12 PM »

Move them anywhere you want at night and put a branch full of leaves over the entrance. The bees will reorient in the morning when they see the branch. Works for me.
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