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Author Topic: Moving a hive a short distance  (Read 3420 times)
Serapax
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


« on: November 16, 2005, 08:02:58 PM »

Hi all,

This is my first post - apologies that it's so short, but I'm anxious that I'm running out of time on this one.  I'll do the polite introdcution thing later today - I promise  Smiley

I'm a first time beekeeper with a single hive in the backyard installed from a nuc nearly 4 weeks ago.  At the moment, it's just a single deep brood box, but the numbers have really built up and I have to add a second box.  This is ready to go, with frames etc....I just hope I get it on before my girls run out of room and swarm.

Unfortunately, I screwed up my original location for the hive - it turned out the spot was dank and shaded until 10am, and then sat in the blazing Australian sun all day.  I found the perfect spot about five meters away under a pear tree that will offer shade in summer and let the sun through in winter.

I did lots of Googling and it seems the best bet is to move the hive a few km away for a couple of weeks, then move them back to the new spot.  This really isn;t an option for me, so I went a second methond of moving them three feet (about 70 cm) every second day, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  It seems to be working okay - I haven't noticed too many lost bees wandering around in the grass.  But who knows - perhaps they're all off dying somewhere?

I've still got about a meter to go, plus the hive will be raised about 20 cm higher than it is now.   Problem is, I'm getting really anxious about their numbers and want to get the second box on ASAP.  It would be pretty hard to move with the two boxes....so I guess my question is what gamble should I take.  Do I move the colony further than normal (and a day early!) and put the second box on today?  Or do I wait a couple more days...keep doing the process I have been doing, and risk the swarming?

Any opinion or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!

Mike

ps.  I am having so much fun with this! What other hobby mixes animal keeping with carpentry and even electricty!  Plus there's honey to be had! Shocked
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stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2005, 09:27:11 PM »

You only have 1 meter to go until you have it where you want it.
Just move it and put a branch in front of the entrance so the bees
will reorient in the morning.  Move it after dark and you will be ok.

If there are not other bees in the immediate area, you will lose very
few bees as they will find their way home no farther than you are
moving.
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Wayne Cole
amymcg
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2005, 09:42:39 PM »

You could also move them screened up and leave them that way for a couple of days, then open the entrance back up. They will re-orient.  

But the branch should work.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 11:25:25 PM »

What is wrong with the sun??? Mine sit in full sun from the time it rises until it sets. Our summer temperatures were in the upper ninety degree F. I never saw them on the out side fanning. I have screened bottoms.

But on with the move. You could pull a couple of frames out to open up the hive and give them room. Then after the move replace those frames if you want and add the other box.
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downunder
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2005, 06:21:00 AM »

The sun can be a problem here! In summer it can be well over 100F in the shade. This puts plenty of stress on the bees. A shady location is best.

However you want the opposite in winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2005, 06:57:20 AM »

Assuming good flying weather for the bees, I just move the hive the short distance.  Put a branch in front of the hive and be happy.  If you find a lot of bees near sundown at the old location, put an empty box there and after dark put it beside the new location with a branch in front of it.

The branch is essential.  It's what triggers reorientation.  Without it this will not work.

I've done this MANY times with no problems.  By the next day the bees will be reoriented tot he new location.
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Michael Bush
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AdmiralD
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2005, 12:28:18 PM »

You know, what you could do, is move the bees in the day time and put your second story in the origional location. Then after the sun goes down, block the entrance and shut the bees up until daylight the next day. then add the box to the top of the origional beehive.

and still add that thing that kinda blocks the entrance, ie a tree branch or some shrubbery or grass that partially blocks the entrance....


Just a thought.... wink
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Serapax
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2005, 01:14:42 AM »

Thank you for that great advice!  It certainly makes sense - I don't know why I haven't read about it in all my searching.  Seems to have worked too!  The bees are now happily in their new spot and there doesn't seem to be any lost at all Smiley

Tomorrow will be the earliest chance I'll get to open it up and add the second box - weather permitting.  Also first chance I'll have had for two weeks to check on how much comb has been drawn.....

Now I have this (perhaps crazy) idea that if it really is totally full and there are already several swarm cells, I might set the second box up nearby as a second hive instead (I have a spare base and lid).  I'm thinking I could remove 4-5 brood frames, one with the old queen on it, and put them in the new hive, being sure to leave some brood frames with swarm cells in the old hive.  Then let the old hive raise their own queen (it's right into early summer here and I don't think I can still buy queens).  

Or perhaps this is too ambitious for a beginner!?

Cheers!

Mike
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2005, 05:25:46 AM »

Quote from: Serapax
being sure to leave some brood frames with swarm cells in the old hive.  Then let the old hive raise their own queen


It is quite harmfull to continue with your own swarm cells. They inherit the swarming tendency and that is not good at all.

I read that you have a lot of feral hives there. With those drones you get from that direction swarming blood in your yard.  

But you just put empty hives with foundations and you will get colonies in as much you want. Then you put them together and harvest honey. Tongue
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