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Author Topic: Moving bees 120ft  (Read 1282 times)
brushwoodnursery
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« on: January 09, 2013, 01:57:00 PM »

I need to move my bees but only a short distance; about 120ft. I have 3 colonies. I'm setting up a permanent stand at the far end of an open space. I have read a few times that it can be done as long as I break up their flight pattern to make them reorient. One of the ways I had in mind was to place a Brushy Mountain pollen trap on the front of each as it is moved. I was also going to place something large in front of each. I was going to move the big colony first so, if I'm wrong, returning foragers will be encouraged into one of the two smaller ones.
 Any thoughts? Suggestions for the large object?
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 02:24:05 PM »

Welcome to the forum.  I lived in Athens, GA in the early 90's (didn't have bee's though).  How cold is it there right now?  I've moved full size hives short distances when it's in the mid 40's and overcast.  When it's that cold they normally don't like to come out.  If they're in the hive for more than 3-4 days they'll need to reorient anyway.  I used to put up the branches and stuff but don't any more.  Yes, there's some confusion just like if there are branches covering the entrance but they work it out.  When a tree falls, the hive always figures out where it's gone in short order.  While they do work on sight outside the hive, their sense of smell is their main sense if all else fails.

What you're talking about will work but any of the returning bees will probably be seen as robbers and treated as such.  The remaining hives will be a little cranky about this and may let you know when you move them.  I'd move them all when it's cool (not cold 20 or below) and overcast and let them figure it out.  It's cold enough to inhibit flying but not so cold that if the cluster is broken they can't reform quickly.

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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 02:25:24 PM »

Line of sight between locations ? colony clustered ? perhaps, very carefully, move everything in one go ? set up new location with same orientation amongst hives, time operation to precede bad weather.
Cheers,
Drew
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 02:49:36 PM »

Thanks to both of you for positive suggestions. they will go from facing south to facing east. Direct line of sight from old location to new except for a few weeds here and there. No shrubs, fences, trees in between. I might have to break one open to lift it onto the stand. One is pretty big with 2 medium 8 frame on top of 2 deeps.
 Come to think of it, I'm going to have to break that one and one of the others open since I want to put new bottom boards on them. The ones they're on are crap.
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 04:43:20 PM »

my advise would be to strap hives together to keep everything stuck tight and change bottom boards @ future time,  move hive in one piece, dolly w/ big wheels/2x lumber road  ?, could make stretcher ?, get helper if heavy.
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D Coates
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 05:33:05 PM »

Maryland Beekeeper is dead on.  You don't want to open them up if you can avoid it.  If you can't help it can you delay the moving until spring when the weather is decent and they've worked through their stores (ie they're lighter).

Drew?  Don't run across many Drew's.  This coming from another Drew.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 08:30:13 PM »

If the bees stay inside the hive for 3 days cold,rain,wind or snow.The bees will reorient by themselves.



             BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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bailey
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 10:29:48 PM »

If you have access to a truck or trailer with a Crain hoist that would be how I would move them. 
An entrence reducer giving only 1 bee width at the opening for a day or two should cause them to reorient.
I would leave the weakest hive at old location for a few days. That way any confused foragers will have someplace to go.
Bailey
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 07:56:09 PM »




Finally finished the new stand! A few days ago, just before some bad weather, i moved my small colony onto it and placed a branch on a chair in front of the hive.



There were dozens of foragers who went back to the old spot but it wasn't bad. I tried something I wanted to share. I put a large scrap of white plastic down where the hive was and it seemed to really help. I think there's something to that. Makes them really realize that things are different. I didn't lay the plastic out flat over the area but that might help even more if it conceals some scent and/or blocks all local markings.
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Joe D
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 10:16:50 PM »

Are you putting a roof on.  Lot of people think bees need to be out in the open.  Mine are under a roof, fixing to move them latter this year.  New yard will be under a roof also.  Good going with your move and good luck




Joe
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Vance G
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 12:26:46 AM »

Moving the bees when it is as cold as it gets in your country will not harm the bees and very few would venture out even if they were left open.  How do you think that zillion hives gets moved to the almonds?  It aint in heated trucks.  Like the man said.  strap them together and tape the entrance shut when moving them.  Let them settle down an hour and quietly remove the tape.  The colder the better.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 04:14:31 AM »

Joe D, the roof will be deciduous vines so we're all shaded from the midday sun in summer but they get all the sun in winter.
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Moots
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 09:15:01 AM »

Joe D, the roof will be deciduous vines so we're all shaded from the midday sun in summer but they get all the sun in winter.

Nice setup...VERY NICE!  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 09:44:14 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm

I tend to prefer to do it when it's going to be warm for the next 24 hours (like above 50 F the whole time).  Some will have to find the new location.  Get them to reorient, though, and it usually doesn't take most of them too long to find the new location.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 10:24:02 AM »

Thanks, Jeff. Took a lot of spare hours here and there to finally get it done. It's very sturdy. Will fit 6 8 frame hives; maybe 7 but then room is needed for work, too. The rails are spaced just right to make a frame rest (not my original idea).
 Michael, I'm using your advice on the move re: placing the branch in front of the hive in its new position.  Smiley
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 07:24:33 PM »

Very nice set up!!!! applause applause applause applause applause

Getting ready to build mine. How do you feel about a trip to the west side of Atlanta and giving pointers?Huh  grin

Just kidding but thats a really nice job you did.

Congrads and good luck.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2013, 07:51:41 PM »

You're welcome to come to west Athens and see for yourself! Here's the link where I found the sketchup link:
http://www.beehacker.com/wp/?page_id=22
a Mike Miller did the plan.
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2013, 08:01:17 PM »

Thanks for the info.
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