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Moving 2 hives to a temp. location

Looking for advise/suggestions.
I have to move my 2 flow hives about 3-4 meters from their current location for 3-4 hrs
I want to install a level platform where they are currently located which will take 3-4 hrs to complete.
When completed, put the flow hives back to the position they were before.
My question,
What is the best way to do this, I would have to lock the bees in their hives for 3-4 hrs
Will they survive being locked up for 3-4 hrs in the morning ?
When is the best time to close the entrance ?
Can I do this now, temperature around 30c ?
Cheers, G

I have had to move my hives a short distance and up to 70 meters twice for one reason or another. The short distances really worried me with the old 1 meter or 5 klm’s rule. From my experience I would just go ahead and move the hive and expect a lot of bees flying about confused but they will hang about, when you put the hive back in the original position the bees will settle down pretty quickly. I wouldn’t close them up as that would stress them and the heat would sky rocket in the hive.
The bees will pick up the scent of the hive they belong to.
Cheers George

Hi George,
I had to move my hive a short distance after positioning it in a location that we realised wouldn’t work for us. I moved it in the evening when the bees had retired for the night and used the old trick of placing a branch at the entrance to trigger the bees to reorient themselves. The move went well - no issues.
You will hear from more experienced beekeepers as well here (such as Peter above), but that was my experience.
In terms of the fact that you will be moving them a second time shortly thereafter (back to the original location) I would be inclined to leave it a few days before returning them, to avoid too many disruptions in a short space of time. Will be interesting to hear other views on this.
Good luck with the moves and your building project :slight_smile:

Thanks @Peter48, problem is that I have to work in the area where the hives were.
I don’t think the bees will take kindly to saws and hammers and most likely start to attack me.
Cheers, G

Wear a suit whilst working :rofl:

Or face the entrance the other way.

Bees will reorientate - make the changes at night or early hours of morning.

I’d avoid closing them up.

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I think your best option is to temporary relocate them as far away as you can, using the branch with leaves in the entrance to reorientate themselves. Leave them a few days. Work on the site, then bring them back after a week or two.

Or… can’t you simply take off the wooden stand, and just use Flow legs? They are designed to be placed on the ground at that height. If ground is soft, place the hive on a 600x600 concrete paver.

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Hi @Freebee2 I thought that it would not be detrimental for the bees to be locked up overnight and perhaps half a day, at a pinch.
When I buy a nuc they are usually closed up for up to half a day.
Also commercial bee keepers, they must close the hives when they move to a new location or do the move at night ?
I could probably wait for a cool night and day.
However, I will be guided by experienced opinions
Cheers, G

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If you can put the job off for a day or two that would certainly help but you also might find their interest is in the hive and get on with their work.

Hi @Wandjina, problem is we have a fair amount of fall in that area which cannot be compensated for by adjusting the legs.
I can try and reduce the time required for the work to 3-4 hrs.
Cheers, G

Hi @fffffred, wearing a suit to do this work is not an option.
I need to use electric power tools.
Cheers, G

I think in that case, if you start really early, say 6am, you should be fine. Make sure the hive is in shade and kept cool, and ventilated.

Do you have neighbours to annoy?

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Hi @Wandjina, I was just thinking, following the replies so far, If I pre construct the platform and then position and install it at night.
It will involve digging 6 holes for the stumps, install the stumps and then lift the pre constructed platform on top. I could put up a flood light so I can see but I will still have to close the hives because I think the flood light will attract the bees.
No problem with neighbours
How does that sound ?
Cheers, G

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If you can do that, it would be perfect I think. I personally hate locking them up if I can avoid it, but at night they’ll be inside anyway.

You have to lock them, because they will come at the your lights otherwise.


Also make sure that the platform is big enough for you to work two hives.

With the veil, you’ll have limited peripheral vision, and you don’t want to fall off the platform.


Go for that idea George, sound good and thought out. Make sure the bees are well secured.

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I extended my rear garden patio last summer (UK). Put my rapid round feeder on. Closed the hive, moved to bottom of garden for two days (closed) then moved back when the work was completed. Stuck some plants, water and small bushes in front of the entrance and opened the entrance. Bees were very lively for a few hours but no real issues.

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Thanks @HappyHibee, that sounds reassuring. I have now made up the platform and as soon as we get a cool night I will close the hive for a couple of hrs till I install the platform, and then release them again.
So it will only be a couple of hrs during the night.
Once I have finished I will post a picture of the new set up
Cheers, G


Hi George
Do not underestimate the weight of the hives when you come to move them, especially with honey supers. I assume you will organise help.

It is a good idea to also strap them, so that they won’t come apart. I once had to move a full hive and it was a logistical headache.

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Hi Olly thanks for that, I am aware that they will be quite heavy. I will have someone to help me move them. I will also tie a strap around them so they will not come apart. Hopefully I will have the platform installed by the weekend.
I will post a picture when it is all finished. Cheers, G