Planning on moving a hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by srvfantexasflood, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    I am buying a hive from a member of my local bee club. This was her first year of beekeeping and she had a severe reaction to a sting. So, I think I have this move worked out in my mind. Let's hope the bees agree with me. Tomorrow I am going to go and remove the 3 supers of drawn comb she had on the hive. Some BeeGo on a fume board should get those bees out quick enough. The bottom super is packed with honey, the second has a little and the 3rd has none to speak of. They are queen right and have some honey stores in the bottom.
    The following evening, at dusk, my niece and her husband and myself with load the hive into the back of a pickup. They have been wanting to try their hand at beekeeping, so the hive will go to their home, in the country. The weather is suppose to cooperate and actually be in the 80's. I think we will use some hardware cloth over the entrance just in case of overheating. Ratchet straps should hold the hive stable.
    When we get them on the new hive stand, I'll show the kids how to feed them with a hive top feeder and let them be for a few days. Have I forgotten anything?
    I'll try to remember to take pictures. This is going to be fun!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    It all sounds good except the feeding. I would not feed them. Replace the partially filled super on the hive and let that be their feed. This is robbing season and There are likely feral bees in their neighborhood.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You didn't mention the distances involved. Your niece's home should be at least 5 miles from the hive's present location so that none of the bees return to their original site. Your niece's home should also be at least 5 miles from your home so that when you eventually move them again to your home (assuming that is your final intention), all the bees stick with the hive. Otherwise you'll lose a lot of foragers that return to a hive that is no longer there.
    As to the filled super, extract the honey for your own use or save it for possible feeding needs when the early spring comes around. But make sure it doesn't have and SHB or wax moths. (If it does, freeze the frames for a few days to eliminate them before storing.)
     
  4. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    I don't know exact distances, but my niece's home is at least 5 miles away from the current location. I don't have any plans of moving the hive once it is on the niece's property. This is an opportunity for them to learn and get their feet wet. They have been wanting to get into beekeeping, but concerned about the start up cost and investment of time. They are self employed and work so hard all the time.
     
  5. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Will you need to place an obstruction in front of the entrance to force the foragers to re-orient?
     
  6. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    If the moving distance is 4 or more miles, there's no need to place any obstructions to force the foragers to re-orient, they'll do it automatically.

    Screen all entrances and ratchet strap in both directions securely. Secure hive in the truck so it cannot tip over. Once the hive is in place, in the evening, i myself would leave the screens on (they'll be angry from bumping around) for the night. In full protective gear, early next morning one entrance can be opened by an inch. Bees will come pouring out angrily. Just give them the inch opening and walk away and leave them alone. Be sure the new owners know that the first day or two there will be clouds of hundreds of foragers re-orienting in big figure 8s in front of the hive all day. This is normal. If there is no more than 1" entrance, and you are not putting syrup inside the hive, there should be no robbing problem from neighborhood bees. In a few more days a second 1" entrance upper can be opened and actually the hive can stay that way with reduced entrances all through winter.

    I agree with Iddee- NO FEEDING! Leave them as much of their honey as possible, without excessive empty space (this is no time to be greedy and take their honey). REDUCE any entrances to no larger than just ONE INCH for at least the first two weeks. This very small entrance will help them defend against robbers while they adjust to their new surroundings. A single 1 inch entrance is plenty for them to come and go, but also easy for them to defend. It's robbing season bigtime right now, and you want to avoid that at all costs- robbing can start easily and will wipe out the entire hive.
     
  7. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    Thanks Omie, I was confused by this comment. And thanks for the reminder about wearing full riot gear the following day. I don't plan on being greedy, but the gal who owned the hive has requested a wee bit honey, just so she knows what she is missing. I don't even want to dirty the extractor for that, so I might as well harvest some.

    Should I place a honey super above the inner cover? They will take it on down then won't they? No one in this part of the country leaves their supers in place over winter. We run with two deep hive bodies here.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    svftf.....
    i use moving screens....1 mile to 90 miles. if i move them in the am i might leave the screens on until later in the day or until they have settled down before removing them. if i move them in the pm, might not remove the screen until early the next am, depending on how late, and weather, but i always leave the screen propped near the landing board and hive entrance, even if it's hardware cloth, this is what they have been staring at. they will stare at it, land on it and study it and all will do the figure 8's up and down the hive. i think helps them to reorient. is this necessary? maybe not....moved hives at dusk and took off the screen right away, and they were fine. i think letting them settle down a little before removing the screen is helpful. they do pile out of the hive when it is taken off, but as i said, just let them settle down a bit before taking off the screen if you can, they will be more disoriented than angry, as omie pointed out though, i would wear a veil and gloves, and let them alone for a couple days to reorient and adjust to their new environment.

    as far as the honey super over the inner cover......i wouldn't, but i am not keeping bees in kansas, or hoping they will move it down, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't......

    wishing you well on the move!

    :grin:
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I move my hives only at night and as soon as they are positioned in their new site, I unblock the entrance. Since it's dark, they don't go flying anywhere. Who cares if they rush out and walk around on the outside of the hive. With the hive open again they can get full ventillation---and I save myself an extra trip to visit the hive. (Yes I know, I should visit them in the morning to see that all is well, but from my experiences, I've never really had any trouble.)
     
  10. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    BeeMoving 002.jpg BeeMoving 003.jpg

    Here is a picture of the hive that is to be moved. Yesterday afternoon I removed the 3 supers in preparation for tonight's move. The second picture is of my car, locked up, with the keys inside, and my cell phone inside. I did have my camera with me though! I had to walk to 3 different houses before I could find someone home to let me use their phone. I am thankful for a supportive husband who drove 40 minutes to bring me spare keys and didn't say a mean (or sarcastic) word.
     

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  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Well it seems to me that your husband feels much the same way about you as I do my wife. I am far more concerned about her walking around searching for a phone than I am about a 40 mile drive. My biggest regret is that I can only drive so fast. If my wife islonger than usual comign home for grocery shopping she say I am noticeably nervous upon her return. Not angry. I am just very aware when my wife is not nerby where I can be there for her. I don't like being apart. It is a mutual situation. When my wife is taken out of action it is very much like. Oh do I mind giving up my right hand for a couple of hours? Yes I do. nothing runs smooth without my extra hand. I took her to be by my side. to be by her side. and I guess after 28 years I have not changed my mind about that. That is till right where I like her to be. Her on the other hand. doesn't want me in her kitchen.

    Congrats on getting the hive moved.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Since I'm not your husband, I'll allow myself a small jab in jest: It's amazing to what extent people will go to make sure that no bees get loose in their car. :lol:

    I'm all for Daniel's comment :)goodpost:)----to my wife (of 46+ years) I wouldn't take such liberty. :thumbsup:
     
  13. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    More pictures from the hive moving. BeeMoving 005.jpg BeeMoving 008.jpg

    My niece and her husband, Julia and Jacob, are loading the hive bodies into their work van in the first picture. The second glamor shot is setting the hive on it's new stand. After the addition of a couple more cinder blocks, we cut a small opening in the hardware cloth so the bees could exit and still guard the entrance. The colony was so calm, that we unstrapped the ratchet straps and put a super of their honey back on. All without benefit of any gloves or veils. I think this couple has a bright future as beekeepers because they work so well together and have such a mellow, calming effect on the bees.
    I was unable to tell much about the new location, as it was dark. I'll go back in a week and check on them while it's light.
     
  14. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    :grin: Now that made me laugh!
     
  15. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Can't argue with success. Congrats on the move and helping two new beekeepers get started on the right foot.