Hive-relocation

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Noronajo, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    I started last April with 2 Buckfast hives, struggled thru a miserably hot, dry summer, fed less than 2 weeks in the fall because I thought they were a little short on stores due to the drought, worried thru the shortest winter ever and now have 6 hives! Both hives, but especially the west one, had bees making orientation flights beginning in January and by February I figured I better see how they fared because there seemed to be clouds of bees out there every day. There were so many bees in that west hive I decided to do a split. To make an already long story a little shorter, they began swarming the third week on February & so far we have caught 6 swarms( they conveniently land in a huge cedar tree close to them). I have a new location to move 2-3 of them to 14 miles away.Now for the real purpose for this post- most of thes hives have new queens-2 are less than a week old and I need to know if I should wait till I see eggs to move them? Will they mate more successfully here or will they have no problem finding a DCA wherever they are?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would wait.
    Too much disruption with a new queen and the bees make take it out on her.
    Also, with 2 queens that are less than a week old, they may have already started on their mating flights, you don't want to possibly lose them if they head out and don't recognize where they are.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I agree with perry. Let them get established before moving. You may have to feed them if we have another summer like last.
     
  4. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    That was my thinking, too. I was all ready to load the truck and move them Thursday nite when it occurred to me it might be too soon. My first year of beekeeping has been largely accomplished with knowledge gained on this forum and it is greatly appreciated!
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sounds to me like you are doing several things right. l) learning and growing at some modest pace and 2) thinking and then planning before you act.

    virgin queens are the most likely to be harmed by any kind of excessive interruption. young queens should have a good number of young larvae (eggs will not do here) prior to being bandied about. I guess the thinking here was without young brood the brood bees have nothing to do and any kind of stressful behavior sometime gets interpreted by the bees as some problem with the queen herself. with no larvae (or eggs) in a box once the queen is dead the hive itself has no potential to remedy the problem.

    good luck... ain't certain about Oklahoma, but it certainly looks like a much better year here in central Texas.
     
  6. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Thanks for them kind words- my plan had our bees growing at a more modest pace- I ordered 3 hives in January- 2 to try and make splits and one " just in case"- the bees decided to follow their own plan and the last swarm is in a makeshift hive with a bee escape for a bottom and a plywood top. I gave them a couple of frames of pollen and honey but they were already hustling even though the last swarm was the smallest-at least I hope it was the last swarm- 'til two more hives arrive this week, anyway!
     
  7. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Relocated hive update- I moved two of the swarm hives the 18th of April after seeing numerous eggs and larva. They have become my most active hives-they each have two deeps and one honey super on one and I just added the second to the other-one hive has 13 frames out of 20 full of brood. Inspecting two weeks ago I could see they had plenty of honey so I pulled an outside frame of completely capped honey, weighed it when I got home-8.4 pounds. Cut it off the frame and strained it and got 3 pints-my first honey! You all give great advice, wish you could taste it-it's the palest honey I've ever seen and tastes like flowers smell!
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I myself am a big fan of the early light coloured honey up here, but where I am on the East Coast the dark strong flavoured stuff is preferred by most.
    Congratulations on the harvest. :mrgreen: