Ideas for temporary box to transport colony?

I’m doing a cutout on Saturday. there are 4 known colonies in the walls of a bungalow. I am doing it with 5 other Beekeepers, 2 of which have a lot of experience. I’m really excited to do it, will be an amazing experience. I was wondering though if anyone has ideas for a box for transporting them in. I will be keeping 1 colony & have a 10 frame deep ready to go. My concern is, however the safe transport & setting up of it, once I’m home I will be on my own. I am wondering whether i would be better off using a polystyrene box with lid that I have, if I make some vents in sides covered with screen? It’s not going to be particularly warm that day. It will fit 10 frames securely, I can then just transfer these to the hive at home?
I’m really looking for something I can perhaps put together without having to buy something, I suppose.


Hi Kirsten, a 10 frame box is perfect for transporting and there is no mucking with them when you get home. Migratory lids have vents already in them that are sufficient to transport bees for a few hours, otherwise use fly screen over the top to keep them in and a good tie strap (such as an Emlock) to secure the hive in your car. No need to have anything special.

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Thanks Rodderick, first time actually moving bees around over distance & in a car, so thought best to check. Have fly screen I can use too, will take in case this unpredictable weather ends up warmer than expected. I’m rapidly learning to think of, cover all contingencies before I start to do anything with the bees. :slight_smile:


I remember my first drive in a car with a box of bees , just a tad nervous! It all went well though.

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Hi Kirsten,

so you have figured out how to cover the the bottom and top of the ten frame box? I am moving a flow 8 frame hive in a few days and I have gotten some straps to strap the base, boxes and inner cover all together (I will take the roof off during transport). I got a small piece of wood that will perfectly cover the entrance- and can be tacked into place to hold it securely. I have another piece of wood ready to cover the hole in the inner cover and my straps will lock this in place.

Just remember: when you have the box in the car have the frames run parallel to the road- so they don’t jiggle from side to side in the car when you brake, etc.

If you are doing the cut out at the location - if you used a the styrofoam box- you would need to have frame rests or something to keep all the frames from touching each other and/or resting on the bottom of your box. Seems like putting them directly into their new home will be the best way to do it?

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Hi Kirsten, it would be good if you had one of those hair clip type cages to trap the queen in to make sure you lure the colony to your box. Even if you get lots of comb wired into frames, if you don’t have the queen on one of those combs, chances are the bees will want to stay in the wall, if that’s where the queen is. That’s what happened to me last year. I think it’s worth the effort to find the queen & get her into your box if you want to do it in the one trip.

I guess you realize that you’ll have to wait till dark for all the bees to settle into your box. Have your smoker on hand to drive the outside bees in before locking them in. A handy item will be a l.e.d torch, bees ignore them, not like the old torches, they can really stir them up. It might be handy to have if the bees find a way out on the way home. Another handy item would be a roll of masking tape just in case you need to block any holes. I find that masking tape is better/easier to use for this type of job.

I hope it all goes well, 4 colonies in one bungalow, that’s amazing. cheers:)


Thanks Michelle (or is it Jack? some people refer to you as Jack…) anyway, yes I’m going to nail base to hive body & I’ve tacked together a softish flywire cube with an opening side to go around entire hive once it’s all together. I also have straps that lock from moving them around on my place when I caught the first swarm. Nice tip about the frames parallel to road, it’s the only way the hive will sit properly in the back, but nice reminder. I’ve written it down in my plan so I don’t forget when tired at the end :grin:
I have put frame rests in the styrofoam box & made large circular vents with screen, as there could well be more than the known 5 colonies, & it would be terrible not to have room for more bees :wink: It’s a just in case, back up. I am just about out of woodware, from having enough, I thought to take me through till next year, I now need to quickly finish the hive bodies I’ve been working on for past few months.
I just completed inspecting my 3 hives. They are all finally storing some nectar, still not a lot of pollen, but they have built out 90% of all their frames. Even the swarm I caught last week has built out 8 of 10 frames!
So almost time to super, couple of weeks, perhaps…

Thanks Jeff, I think I will pay a visit to bee supplies on my way & pick up a queen cage as you suggested, & hardware for an L.E.D torch & masking tape (just got to end of roll). I’m also going to pack some food for myself, maybe a bottle of wine to have while it gets dark & waiting for bees :wink:
It’s now gone up to 5, after he did further inspection today, & possibly more in another part of building?!

I’ll take as many photos as I can & video if possible. Dad has signed himself up to assist, he is a professional photographer. Thanks for all your help & ideas. Will be like Christmas morning when i wake up tomorrow!

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Just wanted to say big thanks to everyone for tips/ideas & help. Much appreciated & will update on how it went. Might be Sunday, think will be pretty knackered when I get home. :slight_smile:


it’s jack :wink: I have been using my mums original flow account for months now (Michelle). She is lurking in the background somewhere. Hi mum…

Let us know how the cut out went.

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Well? Update us, how’d it go?

Just starting to have a few moments to get back onto the forum again. Cut out went well although had a few interesting moments! There were 6 colonies in total & was bedlam at one stage. I will go into detail in next couple of days. I came away with a recently swarmed, queenless colony… It was an experience! They are queenright & finally beginning to thrive. Pics and anecdotes to follow :wink:


I have to drive a 30km distance to collect two colonies for insertion into my two brand new beehives.
As my [brood boxes] are also brand new, I was thinking that I could take these new brood boxes to the collection point, and complete the transfer at the location where the bees currently are.
Could someone please help me and confirm if the following would work:

  1. Place colony in two new brood boxes
  2. Cover brood boxes with mesh to ensure none escape while driving
  3. Drive with windows open for ventilation of bees
  4. Get them home and put them on top of my beehive table as part of my set up of the Honeyflow system i.e. first the base, then the brood box, and await two or three days (or weeks) before adding the honeyflow super.

The alternative is making a box with mesh and transferring the bees a second time when I get home, but this seems like one labour too many when I have new equipment.

All answers are appreciated, thank you.