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How to relocate a hive in a small urban back yard?


I have a question from a Flow Hiver if anyone has any advice?

"My question is relocation of bees in a small urban back yard. I wish to relocate my hive to a sunny area at the beginning of spring and then move them to a shaded area for summer about twenty metres away."
Recommened method?

He’s in Perth WA.


I recommend you take your pick and leave them there. Sun being preferred over shade at any time. Not moving being preferred over moving.


Perth can get pretty hot, a suggestion would be to erect a temporary shade shelter over the top of the hive on those hot days just to stop the sun beating down on the roof of the hive. I recently had to move 4 hives from the bottom of the yard up into the sun for spring. It took me 2 weeks to complete at a rate of 1 metre a day. Not much fun when loaded with supers.


In the sun but paint the hive a pale colour and put an insulated roof on it with a small top vent. This works for our hives in northern NSW, even through the 50° days a few years ago.



I agree with others with regard to not moving the hive back and forth. If they still plan to move it, I would suggest moving it several km’s away (friends house?) and back again into new location rather than shuffling it a metre at a time!


50 C (122 F) I would put up a shade of some kind. The hottest I’ve seen in Nebraska (and that was western Nebraska) was 114 F (46 C) and that was rough on everything including the bees. I had to hose the hive off during the day to cool it and I had to hose the chickens off to keep them from dying.



Sure glad that’s not an issue here in the Puget Sound. I believe our highest on my NOAA/Cocorahs weather station at my house was 101 dgs F last summer … We didn’t even come close to that here.

Our challenge is a damp/cool/cloudy/long winter 20 plus miles S.E. of Seattle. I just muse when I hear locals here saying their hives are cooking n need to remove the bottom boards.

Maybe it’s just a matter of perspective … I have screened openings in my five crown boards n have lifted the front edge of the roofs if I see bearding but guessing they’d survive with their natural A.C.

Hmm, other thots anyone ?


He/she could move the hive the desired 20 meters with the bees locked in for 3 days. After 3 days place a branch in front of the hive before opening the entrance.


Hi Gerald, in hot weather, I’d just keep the roof on tight with no gaps, have a solid floor & a nice wide entrance. No ventilation anywhere except for the entrance. Also naturally make sure the hive is painted a cool color.

I think a lot of people fall into the trap of giving the bees more ventilation when it’s actually hindering their process of a/c’ing the hive.

Our air conditioners don’t work all that efficient with windows & doors open. I see a sbb as a large open door. Then you have “ventilation” in the roof which only acts like open windows, making it harder for the air conditioners (the bees).


I’m kind of the other way round. In hot weather I have an insulated top, small top vent and top board to stop the chimney effect. Solid bottom board and smallish bottom entrance. The bees work hard to cool the air, cool air is heavy so if you have a large bottom entrance or screened bottom board this simply falls out the bottom of the hive. The bees then have to keep cooling. By letting the hot air slowly out the top and restricting the gaps at the bottom the bees seem to do very well in hot weather.



Hi Rob, sounds like your bees are doing well during hot weather. Your insulated top would have to be a big plus, however the top vent, I believe would only be making the bees job of cooling the hive harder by allowing hot air in. The bees cool the hive via the entrance. They draw air in one side of the hives entrance & circulate that air throughout the hive, working as a team, & then expelling it out the other side. This is why I like a wide entrance so that the air coming in doesn’t clash with the air going out. There is a beautiful illustration of that in the video “City Of The Bees”. My whole strategy of setting up my hives is based purely on my interpretation of that part of the video.


Hiya Rob, have you got your insulation on the inside of your cover? I was planning on putting some 20mm insulation on the inside of a migratory cover but am not sure if the space inside the cover is important, the insulation I’ve in mind would cover half of each ventilation hole.


Hi Jeff, I thought it was best to paint the hive in a light colour so the sun reflects off it and it doesn’t get too hot, e.g. white. Not sure if that’s what you meant by “cool colour”’.


“Cool color”, y’know, blaze orange, neon pink, lime green…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:




Polka dots and lightning strikes would be a good pattern for the bees I think LOL Keep em’ fresh and breezy :slight_smile:


Hi Faroe, yes that’s exactly what I meant. White being my preferred color the keep a hive cooler, especially the lids.


I was recently camping and saw a tent with all this reflective material all over it to reflect the sun. I wonder if this kind of thing could be put on top of beehives…???

Even on the little shelters that people are talking about above.

Or do you think the reflective nature of the material (looks like shiny alaminium foil) would affect the bees somehow?


Yah ! Bobby … Orange flames n all ! :smiley:. Mine are actually natural Cedar or the pine boxes are all lighter Tan.

. Not if I’ll go to any other color for awhile. I’m keeping away from florals n stuff. Bees seem to drool n once in awhile poop on them. So I’ll stay with dull Tan.



LOL good plan with the poop proof paint job Gerald :wink:



Yah ! :wink::+1: Doubt even my dull TAN disguises that drool, propolis n poop one bit ! But not artistic enough to decorate the hives in those awesome pretty patterns, flowers n neat designs I’ve seen here n other sites. I did stay away from the plain white wrapper of my teen beekeeper age… I guess I did add a white one as a bait hive one my roof …

Enough chuckles for now !