Moving hives short distances question

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Aug 24, 2012.

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  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know I have a yellow jacket nest somewhere near the hives. I suspect it is under my old hive stand (convenient, huh)

    So I have built a new hive stand, and I need to get the bee hives all off of the old one. Plus the one on the trailer would be easier to cover and protect, and get more sun, if it were with the rest.

    Seems to me the rule is either 10 feet or 10 miles. The one on the trailer is probably 40 feet from my other hives. But the hive on the new pipe stand, the left one, I only moved about 6 feet and it still lost its foragers to the hive I needed a few foragers on that I put in its place. I also think it is the hive that swarmed yesterday. Anyway, if I move these at 5:30 in the morning and stuff a leaf in them, from the pallet stand to the pipe stand, the bees will find their hives?

    And how many steps do I need to take to move the one on the trailer over? It has a new queen, and can't really spare bees right now.
    hives_8_23_2012.jpg
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Gypsi says: Seems to me the rule is either 10 feet or 10 miles.

    efmesch comments:
    I would adjust that to five feet or five miles--but that is just an approximation.
    As to moving your hive and not losing field bees, I would recommend moving any possible landmarks that you can, together with the moving of the hive. It helps them find the "missing" entrance if they see something familiar from nearby that has moved along with it into a new position, similar to what it was before, relative to the hive.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How about I paint a nice bright acrylic flower - different color - on each hive I need to move. I'll see if I can find the pests now that I have half the hives off - if I paint something bright on their boxes will it help them identify home? (could just do them all. - the hive with the blue coffee can was sighting in on it all summer, so I moved it with them and stuck a couple of rocks in the can)
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It certainly can't hurt, but after the painting, give the girls a few days to adjust to the paintings before you move the hives. Specially helpful would be moving all those hives scheduled for a move, at the same time, keeping their relative positions the same each time you make the repositioning.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I always thought "the rule" (and you know what they say about those) was 2 feet or 2 miles.
    Ask beekeepers a question.............................and then stand back. :lol:
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Before you know it, the next rule submitted will undoubtedly say "Never move a hive". :ranting: :???: :rotfl: :lol:
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well we seen to be unable to get any of the beekeeper to agree on anything.... big surprise huh?
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If we get enough differing opinions, it increases the chance that someone might have the right answer :lol:
     
  9. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    I would move one hive at a time, and wait 48 hours between each move.
    It's important that you wait until dusk when almost all bees have returned, then screen or stuff the entrance closed and gently move the hive. The less bumping, the less mad they will get. Have your protective clothing on for this.
    Once you have them in the new place, have a branch that's kind of bushy ready in one hand, then quickly remove the entrance block and place the brushy branch leaning in front of the entrance. and then walk away quickly! Expect lots of confused orientation flights for the following 48 hours. Then do the next hive.
    The brushy branch will cause the bees to screech to a halt when they come rushing out to forage the next morning. They will stop which confronted by the odd objects in front of the entrance. They'll take time to investigate, and they'll realize something has drastically changed. They'll begin to re-orient their location instead of simply shooting off to go foraging and coming back to the old location. This should work for almost all the bees. Those who go back to the old location will likely gravitate into one of the other hives there and be accepted because they are bringing groceries. So moving one at a time can save a lot of bees that way too. The branch can be removed after 36 hours or so, and used when you go on to move the next hive.
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well I've got a chance of rain for the next 4 days. But it's pretty nice right now so I think it is flower painting time, then give the bees and I a break, and maybe find the yellow jacket nest, prune some trees, etc. It doesn't appear to be inside the pallet. I finally got to look today with fewer bees bombing me. Going to Home Depot - grandkids took off with my paint sample jars again.
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll concur on this! Actually as beeks go, I seem to be fairly agreeable. The bees set the rules, we just try to wiggle them around. I got orange lilies, a purple morning glory, and a blue morning glory on 3 different hives before they ran me out of the apiary. The hot hive really deserves red flames, but can bees see red? or is that a warning for humans only?

    And I lost too many foragers from the hive that swarmed. I think I am going to move the blue coffee can from the top of the hive with the most foragers onto the one with not enough tomorrow after they go to forage. Then hopefully I'll get the hives balanced out where they are.
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    paintjob8_24.jpg
    That poor little hive with the orange lilies is raising their own queen without many foragers, lost part to a swarm and part to the move. The receiving hive on the move definitely needed some, I stepped them up from a full nuc to a 10 frame deep.

    Hive on the right - blue morning glory - is very very full, excellent candidate for my next swarm.

    So I'm thinking about moving the blue "focus bucket" that the hive on the right has been aiming for all summer to the roof of the one with orange in the morning after the foragers leave. Do you think it will work?
     
  13. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    My guess is no.
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Trying - moved it An hour ago.
    If it doesn't work, wasn' hard.
    Thank yout.
    Forgot I could log in from phone
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It didn't work. Guess I'm going to suit up and go move 2 hives over so the one that lost its foragers can collect a few from the one with almost too many (looking swarm-worthy there.).
     
  16. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    When one moves a hive do they try to move the whole hive at one time. There is no way I could move the whole hive even with some help and I wonder if you broke it down to move and I am sure this would not be to liking to the bees. How do you people move the hive, I'm not moving one but would like to know in case I have too or put one at another place.

    kebee
     
  17. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Gypsi if you are going to be moving more hives now, take a look at my previous post on how you can do this without losing all the day foragers and with minimal bee disruption.
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Omie,

    I did read your previous post, and moved one hive, about 2 or 3 feet over on the pipe stand, to the right, away from the other hive. I did not put a branch in front because I want half the workers to go to the hive to the left. I was going to put the left hive in the first hive's place, but I was tired and the hive I moved was pretty unhappy already. I think I can slide it over in a couple of days, otherwise I have to get some help over here. But they are low numbered from a departed swarm and trying to raise a queen from one queen cup. They cannot afford to be without workers. A fishnet is a wonderful way to catch the bees circling the bathroom light when you "wear them" into the house.

    It is my understanding that the bees will go to the original spot and circle around for a couple of feet to either side. I have a hive in either spot.

    Kebee, I couldn't lift it. Top box alone must weigh 60 lbs. Bottom is heavier. so I got an old telescoping cover and placed it upside down next to the hive, and lifted the top box off the hive and set it in the cover. This produced an abundance of angry bees even though it was 11 pm, and I only got one really solid sting through my suit. (I was protected). Then I moved the medium topbox on its empty lid past the point where i wanted to put the hive, and partly slid, partly lifted the deep on its sbb and everything, to meet the medium. trying to get the bees out of the way to set the medium back on was not entirely successful, I probably squished 20, but they are moved. Put the sugar water jar back on, dusted off as many bees as I could, and went in the house. I got away with this take apart to move a lot better last year, because my hive had so few bees and so much less "honey" aka processed sugar water.

    Moving a hive is a 2 person job. Not having to take it apart, and being able to block the opening, is the best.

    Gypsi
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Not "even though" but "BECAUSE". Opening a hive at night (though some forum members have reported on doing it) is, in my experience, an invitation to BEDLAM.
    At night, everyone is home, and once the hive is opened they all come out in all directions and become totally unmanageable. If you have to move the hive in stages, do it in daylight, when much of the population is away and those who are at home have business to attend to. Things should be calm and quiet.
    What about the foragers finding their way home?
    A posssible method might be to place a "distraction branch" over the entrance early in the morning, before the bees start work. Later in the day, when you move the hive (in parts) over a short distance, the returning foragers should (hopefully) find the right entrance, because of the branch, in the hive's new position.
     
  20. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well last year I had robbers from sunup to sundown, so when I wanted to move my hive I HAD to do it at night, and in stages because I was working alone. I'm only a 2nd year beek.

    I want the foragers from this hive to split up - half find their way home, half find their way to the hive an equal distance to the left of the original location. I moved it maybe 3 feet.

    Will take a look in a minute and see where they are going. But moving hives in the daytime is supposed to be bad, right? Because the foragers always get lost.