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Author Topic: Moving Hives  (Read 3474 times)
lobstafari
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« on: June 15, 2004, 03:18:05 PM »

I know I've seen this in here, but my primitive search turned up nothing.  Sometimes it works great for me, other times not so good, so right off the bat....sorry for a duplicate post!!!!
  Heres my scenario:
  My hives are located on an east facing hill, to catch the sun first thing in the morning, and away from the house/foot traffic.  I thought this was a good idea a year ago, but now decided its quite a hike, and no bees in OUR yard!!
  So I think Id like to move them.  Our front yard is not much traffic, easier to lug water/tools/etc. Part shade, and closer to blooms. Im planning on using my ATV with flatbed trailer, and using that for a hivestand for a few weeks. Heres my plan:  I want to add my new screened bottom board to one hive, so have to take it apart anyway, and then move it onto the trailer, and 2nd hive, just move it onto the trailer.  Then every few days drive it 10 feet, so bees dont get confused.  My goal is to move it about 200 feet ASAP, but know cant just move them that far.

QUESTION:  Any advice?  Am I on the right track with my distance per day, and general idea?
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2004, 05:43:55 PM »

Well part of your idea is good - the trailer. But you'll do better to just move them the whole distance, rather than 10 feet a day. My understanding is that if you move the hive a small distance, they get confused and go flying around the original spot for the home. But if you move it a farther distance, when they go out in the morning they realize the difference and orient themselves.
If I were doing it, I'd put the trailer right by the hives. Lay out some straps. Begin to disassemble the hives and reassemble onto the trailer. (Well unless you can somehow get the straps under the hive where it sits.) Strap it all up. Maybe leave it for a day, but atleast leave it for the afternoon until the bees are all home. Close up the entrance at night. Make sure the hives are good and strapped down. Move the hives at night or first thing in the morning before it warms up.
Get some help with this..... but you'll have to move the whole hive as one piece off the trailer. Unstrap and open the hive entrance.

If you have no one to help you, then leave the hive on the trailer right next to were you want the hive to go. Then let the bees out to orient themselves. Then maybe give them a few days to chill out or a week, and reverse the process of taking the hives apart and putting together on the ground.

I have never done this, and it sounds like a big job. Other people will give some input too I'm sure. Smiley

Beth
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lobstafari
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2004, 06:00:05 PM »

Thanks for the reply Beth!!!
  Im getting pretty good at moving really heavy things by myself, so that part shouldnt be a problem.  The straps are a good idea, I was just thinking of going really slow, but you know how that might go!!  I read somewhere you could just move the hives a few feet a day, or like you say, close them right up and move them, but I heard at least a mile or something. huh   Moving them all at once, at night sure would be a lot easier!!!  I'll be sure to post the outcome. Thanks again-----Jeremy
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SeanChan
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2004, 08:06:05 PM »

My experience is different. I read somewhere that moving bees can be done without loosing any forager bees by two methods:

1) move them more than at least 2 or is it 3 kilometers (straight line?) or they will orientate back to their usual site.

2) move them not more than 3 feet a day in any one direction, vertical or horizontal. They will still find their home every day though initially a little confused.

I have tried the second method and it worked for me. I left them on a wheel barrow and pushed it 3 feet a day till  the final destination. I suppose you can modify No 1 by loading it into your trailer, drive them more than 3 kilometers away, give them the new place for a few days to forget their original bearings then drive them home to the new chosen site.

Sean from Malaysia. Cheesy
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Sean.
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2004, 09:40:55 PM »

I agree with SeanChan,  less than 3 feet or greater than their normal flight range.  200 feet is well within their flight range and will surely disorient them.

I use the >3 mile method myself.   I take them over to my dad's (7 miles) for two weeks, then bring them back to their new spot.

Since you are looking to do it in the shortest time, I would suggest finding a place >3miles and move them there for 2 weeks.

200 feet at 3 feet a day is over two months.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Mchero
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2004, 02:50:55 PM »

I'd suggest sprinkling some grass blades on the entrance after you move them. Give them time to re-orient rather than just shooting out the hive.

RM
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lobstafari
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2004, 05:46:12 PM »

Definitely a lot of different opinions here!!  I've never done it before, so I have no idea.  Rob, I take your experiences almost as gospel so that might some valuable advice.  Sorry to sound all sappy but thanks for the reply.  I think I might just wait a bit for now.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2004, 09:37:04 PM »

I am currently in the process of moving my second hive, which I captured recently.  My total move will be about a sixty feet.  When I captured the swarm I set the Bottom Board and Brood box on a couple of 4X4's a little longer than the width of the bottom board.  Once I got confidence that the hive was prospering I was ready to start moving them to where I want them.  I used some drywall screws (2 each, 2 inch long, in each 4X4)  to attach a piece of light angle iron (the kind used to hang garage door operators) across the two 4X4's with a couple of inches sticking past the 4X4's on each end.  I then used a rope about ten feet long with a loop on each end, and placed the loops over the ends of the protruding angle.  Now when I have a chance I just grab the center of the rope and pull the hive a couple of feet.  It pulls very nicely and is working well, although it is still fairly light at this time.  One thing I have noticed is that if I stand on the side of the hive away from the direction I am moving the bees give me alot of attention.  I assume they think I am the hive and are looking for the entrance.  My mentor has told me I can actually move the hive several times a day as long as it is only moved a couple of feet.  He also told me if I move them to far I would know it.  They will become very disoriented and appear lost.  About forty feet to go and it is working well.
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Lupus
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2004, 12:35:34 AM »

I would have an entrance blocking screen ready and place it on after dark. This will trap the great majority inside. I would then move them to the new spot and remove the screens, they want go far at night. Next morning I would just watch to see if a bunch of bees try to migrate back to the old spot.

I think you will see bunches of bess hovering around the hives the next morning. When they leave they will see they are in a strange place and do a little orienting before foraging. I am guessing that you will have some trying to find their old spot after foraging but I expect most will catch on pretty quick. You could leave one hive at the old spot to catch the slow learners and then move it the same way in a day or two.
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asleitch
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2004, 04:28:58 AM »

I've seen people mentioning putting stuff in front of the hives, after relocating them, e.g. straw bales, branches etc - almost "hemming" them in, so they reorient, without seeing their outside surroundings as yet.

could you leave a hive in the old location just to sponge up the stragglers?

Or wait until the winter months?

You only loose the flying bees, the house bees will orinetate on their maiden flights.

Adam
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Anonymous
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2004, 01:07:05 PM »

I Just moved mine one night just at dusk about 75 yards. I screened up the entrance and intercover made the move left them in the hive one whole day with syurp. then released them at dusk again that night placing a pile of grass in the entrance they had to move or climb over. Every thing went just fine with no bees flying around the old location at any time the next day.
 Cheesy Al
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