Hi, i’ve had my hive for about 3 years & have have come to the conclusion i need to move it to a sunnier spot. The only spot available is about 100m away from it’s present site. Is there anyway to move the hive without doing the staged move - ie move 5km firsts then move the bees back - because I can’t? Suggestions welcome.
Move your hive to the new location after you lock the girls in at night. Place a leafy branch in front of the entrance, blocking their flight path. You can rest the branch against the hive. When they come out they will re-orientate themselves and reset their home location.
Might be a good idea to place a brood box in the old location as some might still go there.
I agree with Olly, definitely place another brood box (my addition: containing a frame with open brood) on the old site. Then monitor how many bees return to it.
I have had to move my hives a few times of about 70 meters each time at my apiary. I did it in a single move with no issues. I did as @Wandjina advises and as I moved 15 hives in each move I left a trap box at the old location with a couple of frames of stickies, that box was merged with the news paper trick after 24 hours and I was well pleased with the result. When I merged the trap box it had about 4000 bees that had called a truce and there was no fighting. The moves were done after dark and as the 5k move away from the apiary wasn’t an option I was more stressed than the bees. You might find a few bees on the old location but I suspect will pick up the scent of the hive.
Wandjinahank, JeffH and Peter48 thank you. Good tips. I am quite stressed about the move, probably more than the bees will be whrn they are moved. Should I remove the super before the move?
There is no need to remove the super if you can lift the hive with a help, just keep the entrance closed for 15 minutes after you position the hive so they are a little more settled down. Relax about the move, I have done short moves many times now and had no issues.
Hi Caterina, you’re welcome. There’s nothing to stress about. If you remove the super before the move, a lot of bees will be flying, therefore those bees will return to the old site. If you can somehow manage the move with the super on that will avoid that from happening.
Good. I’ll let you know how i go. The apiary (2 hives) gets only winter sun and it’s not enough. They keep breeding up and swarming. I have one hive with a fixed bottom board which is doing better than the screened bottom board - ie more bees- but neither of them are doing very well - ie no honey to harvest. Time to change positions.
I was just about to edit my advise and you have covered it well Jeff. The minimum disturbance to the bees the better. A helping hand might be needed for the lift and a little smoke at the entrance will send any bees outside the entrance inside before you lock them in Caterina.
I was down on the Gold Coast about 4 weeks ago visiting bee keepers, the major issue was swarming then, I went prepared and did split hives that hadn’t yet swarmed but all the signs were there. Strange for this time of year but the weather has been unusual too.
Look forward to an update about the move and with cooler weather coming it is a good choice.
Fellas thanks. Good tips all. There’s no honey in the super of the hive with the SBB so it’s not too heavy. It’ll take me a couple of day to get it sorted…but hey we’re at home indefinitely!
Hiya BeeShack, make sure there’s plenty of ventilation when you lock the down, my bees propolize the top vents and when you move them they will create more co2.
Personally I can’t see the point of leaving a brood box at the old place, unless it’s a new nuc.
I moved my hive a short distance a couple weeks ago, put some brush against the entrance, and a lot of bees were still back at the old spot the next day. It was going to be cold that night so out of pity I put a smear of honey inside a coreflute nuc box and later put the box next to the hive at its new location, with the lid open. Some kept returning but many went into their hive okay. If the weather had been warmer and a better flow on, I probably wouldn’t have worried about it.
Well i’ve moved two hives.
Hive 1 - all good. I emptied and removed the super first - it had barely a litre if honey in it - then moved the brood at night, no problem. At the new site I placed branches from the bottlebursh accross the entrance…all good . I am feeding the bees through the hold in the roof there own honey and some sugar on alternate days and so far so good.
I moved the second hive last night… it was a disaster. This hive has a fixed bottom board & loads of bees. Firstly while i was taking the honey from the flow super to prepare to remove it, the bees went nuts. No calm havest of the honey. It was armageddon! I persisted but only harvested 1.5 kilos. This is my only harvest since September. And removed the super. I put a lid on the brood and covered off the super. The midnight flit was a disaster, there was so many bees I had trouble sealing the hive. They kept getting out. They found a hole in my suit and got in. I have at least 10 stings on my neck (& a bad local reaction to them) I ended up lighting the smoker at 3am. It’s a really active hive. I’ve used the flow hive top and will feed back some of the honey to the bees through the lid. This hive could certainly fill the roof with comb. Comb is probably good insulation. I am not sure if this hive is particularly aggressive and i should get rid of it or if it’s me.
I never even raise a roof off a hive at night, the bees will be of course aggressive and they have better eyesight at night than you. At night the bees are reluctant to fly but they will crawl all over you. What I do if I need to move a hive at night I lock them in and get a helper with the lift and wear my suit and gloves but also expect a few aggressive bees to come looking for me. I use a red light torch after dark as the bees can’t see that spectrum of light.
Well they were pissed off major. This hive has so many bees. 5-10 x the other hive. Virtually the same spot, came from the same nuc the only difference being the SBB.
The spot they are now in is10 times better. I hope they don’t breed up and the hive doesn’t explode.
Remember you can always transfer brood from the strong hive to the weaker hive. that will help to equalize the two hives in strength so reducing the risk of robbing between them. Just make sure the queen is not on a frame you are switching over from either hive.
Lots of SHB down your way at the moment but should reduce in the cooler weather.
Re switching the brood from the strong to the weak hive. I have done that before and the numbers stay the same.
I have a theory about the difference in numbers between the hives. Both hives received full sun in the morning only & no sun in the afternoon .The metal board on hive with the Fixed Bottom Board (FBB) stored more heat than the SBB and increase in heat resulted in a faster reproductive rate- lots more bees & neither hive had much honey.
A nice theory Caterina but I have 35(there abouts) hives with solid bottom boards and mesh as well there doesn’t seem to be a pattern as to which hives are stronger. It doesn’t seem to matter, for whatever reason some hive become stronger so they become donor hives to those that aren’t with frames of brood.
It is just one of the baffling things about having more than one hive in the same location, they won’t perform the same, even when both hives have queens from the same queen.
What a pity I thought I had it solved - so easily . But not so