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Beehive relocation


Hi I have a beehive in my shed wich I’m trying to relocate to a hive box what is the best method as we have already tried to get queen and bees into A hive box with limited success . It appears bees have just returned to old location in the shed and maybe 10% have stayed in hive box . They do appear to be making comb in there so has this been a success ?? Really don’t want to loose this colony of bees regards chad


Hiya Chad, welcome to the forum.
The best way to keep a swarm in the hive is to use some brood, either donated or cut out and fixed to empty frames.
There’s a good example of fixing cut out comb to frames in this thread.

Hope this helps.


You could not go far wrong with @skeggley 's advise. Also you could have the bees transfer to the new bee hive by having it inside the shed with a frame or two of brood to attract the bees into it. If the bees take to their new home then I would expect at some time a mass move into the new hive.
When that has happened you could lock the bees into the hive for an overnight move of at least10 klms (6 miles) and to put a bit of ‘clutter’ in front of the entrance for the bees to re-orientate to the new site. Leave them at that location for a week then move them to where you want the hive to sit.


…and if it’s warm to hot don’t forget they’ll need a water source if you leave them trapped in the hive for a while. You don’t want them dying of dehydration after going to all that effort.


It sounds like your attempt really has not worked- and that 10% of bees will soon be in trouble- especially if they have no queen and no eggs/larvae to make a queen. Even if they have the eggs and larvae there may not be enough bees to build and look after a queen.Or- if they have the queen- the ones in the shed will start making another queen- and the ones in the box may be too weak to keep their queen going… As Skeggley said the best thing is to cut out their comb and get it into new frames. Another good idea would be to do that- and then to move the new hive to a new location at least 5 KM’s away for at least 10 days. To do that you’d want to do the cutout and then leave the new box with the comb and bees right beside the original colony in the shed- until after dark when all the forager bees have returned and gone into the box.

As you discovered most of the bees returned to their original location. If you move the hive away for a period you can prevent that. Then later on you can move the hive back- once they have forgotten all about their original location.

The quicker you do this the better- as at least one half of your colony won’t have a queen right now. They will already be attempting to make one if they have the resources: enough bees and comb with eggs and/or young larvae. I don’t know- but I assume after a little more time the two halves of the original colony will not recognise each other and may be harder to combine.


Hi all thanks for the info regarding the relocation . Now I will have another shot at this and will bring the hive box inside the shed with some comb in it . If I do this in the evening and get as many bees in the box as possible should I shut the hive opening for a day or so to let them settle in . Kind regards


Once the bees have moved over into the new hive you could shut them in once they have some stores, then move the hive, preferably about 5 klm’s away for a week or two then bring them back to your apiary.

I had to move my apiary about 60 metres in direct line of sight to both locations, I moved them at night, thinking there would be a massing of bees and confusion back at the original sight, so I left a hive there to pick up the returners, there was about a thousand out of 10 hives. I left plenty of foliage crowding the hive entrances and I think that made it a successful move considering it is said that it can’t be done.


No, no, no, no. Not the evening. Sure all the bees are home but the problem is, is that all the bees are home…
Do it between 10 and 2. Once you have cut and fixed the comb leave the hive as close to the original place as you can. Either leave it for a couple of days or close it up and move it that night. Using an obstruction like branches of leaves at the entrance when you open up the hive in the new location. There will still be bees flying hopelessly lost at the old site for a few days.
But not in the evening! :flushed:


But wait skegs - my understanding of the overnight move is that it refers to Step 2, closing off and moving the new box of bees & cut/banded comb, after Step 1 (the cutout) is done during daytime hours. :thinking:


Ok nvm I see that @Seafox82 was talking about doing the cutout in the evening…