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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine recently inherited some land from a relative and found around 50 old hives on the land. They were in quite a state, many of them uninhabited. We managed to recover the best 3 or 4, which although still a mess inside, we managed to move, and have started cleaning them up by basically doing a cutout (advice from this forum) We now have a situation where there are a further 5 hives, inhabited, but in no fit state to move. We're sure if we try and move them they'll just fall apart. Question is how do go about getting these bees? Ideas I have had are : 1) Cutout into a new hive, leave that new hive a few days in place of the old one, then move hive to final destination (a couple of miles away). 2) Put up a few traps and hope for a swarm? 3) Try and get a whole hive into a big plastic bag and then empty out contents into a hive at final destination.

I'm favouring no 1, but does anybody have any better ideas?
 

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I'm all in favour of #1.
#3 is a no no in my opinion. Plastic doesn't breathe and they would be some upset by the time you got to your final destination to dump them out. As well, at only 2 miles away, they may head back to their old home.
When you do as you suggest in #1, after they have settled for a few days in their new home, move it and when you set it up at the new destination place some grass or branches in front of the entrance to let them know they have been relocated and they will reorient themselves.
 

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numero 3 I would cross off.

why not 1 and 2?

if you do a cutout (numero uno) I would tend to want to leave in place longer that a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm in favour of no 1 too. I was initially worried that they might go back to their original place, but the 3 or 4 hives we have managed to move have all been ok.
 

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# 1, but leave in place for at least a week. Do no more than one hive per day. There will be many bees in the air orientating to the new hive, so you don't want two hives doing it and drifting and fighting. Then move all but 1 hive on the same day. Wait 3 or more days and move the last one. Any bees returning will take up with that last hive and you can move it after that.

Then also do #2. There are likely a few feral hives in the area from swarms from those hives. It would be a good place for swarm traps.
 

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Maybe i'm not reading you right, but couldn't you set a new deep on top with some drawn comb and foundation and wait till they move up and then hive them. Do they have to be moved to a new location? Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ideally yes, we would like to move them as they are in a wood, which is pretty inaccessible. I guess we could leave them where they are, but it would make things easier to move them.
 

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brooksbeefarm said:
Maybe i'm not reading you right, but couldn't you set a new deep on top with some drawn comb and foundation and wait till they move up and then hive them. Do they have to be moved to a new location? Jack

this is exactly what i would do then you could move them easily in the spring
 

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I would do a cut out where they sit and also set up swarm traps. A slow walk through the woods and you might find some bee trees.
 
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