I installed a moving/robbing screen to move a hive, Brushy Mountain 8 frame screen. When the hive is moved to its new location, is the top entrance good enough for the bees re-orientation or should I place a small tree limb in front of the entrance?
you will be fine without placing a tree limb in front of the hive. when you remove the screen, the bees will fly out confused, you may see them flying up and down facing the hive, they may fan, and will not fly to far from the hive until they reorient, and when they do, then they will be off and running, give or take 3 days. i move bees every summer and just moved some bees about 90 miles away 2 weeks ago with my own 'moving screens'. i set them in place, remove the screen, and let them alone, they figure it out. you will see them reorienting further and further from the hive, and by about the 3rd day or so, as i said, off and running as if they had always been in the place you moved them to.
It really depends on how far you are moving them. If it is more than 2 miles don't worry about it. If it is less than 2 miles the branch trick or even grass stuffed loosely in the entrance will make them reorient.
if i understood rail, you are using a moving screen on the bottom entrance, and then you will leave the top entrance open for them to fly out? from your post i would guess you are leaving the screen on for a period of time? if so, the screen will serve the same purpose as a tree limb or other object placed on or in front of the landing board. the object, in your case, a screen, and bee memory, forces them to 'pay attention' and look around upon their exit from the hive, and reorient. kind of like 'something new here'. when the screen is removed leave it near the landing board, or propped on the landing board. they will 'recognize and remember' the screen, and may initially cling to it, and you will see them 'looking' at it, if you will. helps them 'find their way'. i make my own screens, use them, and like them.
any method used to help them reorient works, you will do fine. bees are extremely intelligent, when their outside landmarks are 'wrong' they will reorient and find their way. let us know how you and the bees did:grin:
Nice informative thread, thanks guys. I had previously only moved them several hundred miles while working with a professional bee keeper Then about 80 miles to our new home. The information on shorter moves is good. Will this work on a very short move say around a building? Reason i am asking is as it has been very hot I set up my first cut out in a semi shaded area. Tom
My experience for very short moves has been to move the hives in stages of a few meters every few days. If you're dealing with only one hive, it could probably be done in one move, but if you are moving several hives a short distance, or one hive among others for a short distance, you'll minimize the confusion by doing it bit by bit. I've used the branch "trick" a few times and have not been to pleased with the way it "fools" the bees. Maybe my bees are too smart (or too stupid?) to fall for the trick. :rotfl:
Thanks for the info. They may be in a good location now as they are very active. In the winter there will be no leaves and almost direct sunlight with a wind break of cedars about 20 feet north of them. Tom
The move went well. I used tree branches in front of the moving/robbing screen also. There are still a handful of bees trying find the old hive location. The moving distance was about 250 feet. Thank you for the information.
An 8:30 pm beard! The yellow hive gets fully covered as the evening goes into morning. The front of the hive will be covered solid with bees at 5:30 am. The yellow hive has a "screen bottom board" top and bottom of the hive chambers. The green hive has a solid bottom board and regular inner cover.
One reason they are bearding so much is that they don't seem to have any upper ventilation for hot air to leave the hive. You could drill a cork hole near the top and screen it to keep out robbers if necessary, or cut a front slot in your inner cover and screen it to keep robbers from the jar feeders.
i am with omie on her post.....give them some upper ventilation of some sort, whether it be as omie suggested or prop the top of the hive cover back a bit to improve ventilation. also, then the bees don't have to work so hard to ventilate the hive, this takes 'energy' to do so....so help the girls out a little, so they don't have to work so hard :grin: