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Moving hives to different spots on farm


If I catch a swarm but want to move them to a better spot soon after I have them, how do I move them about 400 yards to where I want my hive setup? I hope to catch via a box with lure.

Also, can I move them during winter to a different spot? I have read you can only move them 5 feet per day. I live on a 200 acre farm and may want them in different spots for different years.


If you move them any significant distance do it at night when all bees have returned from foraging and place a branch or tall weeds in front of the hive. The bees will do a reorientation flight because things are unfamiliar.


You can move a swarm the same night you caught them. You might get a few foragers returning but generally not many. That’s why you have to inspect bait hives every day.
Moving in winter is no problem as long as they are not flying and you are in the middle of a spell of cold weather.


I agree with adagna. Close at night, move to desired location, place very different looking scenery out front as bees are very visual. Open that night. Some may return to original location but will soon realise no hive there and re trace flight path. Good luck.


Thank you. I didn’t want to have to take them 5 miles away for two weeks and then bring them back every year.


This is worth reading on this subject. Nice helpful ideas:


Thanks Dawn. I have seen that article before but missed the part about not needing to move them 2 miles for more than 2 feet.


Not too sure how true 5 feet a day is, but I just moved a 2 box hive 8 miles down the road yesterday and they are acclimating just fine. I did put an entrance reducer on and will keep it there for a couple of days so they can get used to the new area, but all in all my bees are doing just fine.


It’s 3 feet 3 miles.
Bees will forage 2 miles so moving them more than three miles is absolutely no problem. They will not recognise anywhere, will reorient and all will be well.


Yes Dee and then it snowed and I couldn’t split my hives just yet and lost an opportunity to get queens locally. Now I have to buy them if I want them and none can be had before middle of May. So I think I’m going to split and allow bees to make their own queen instead.


Should I move my bees under a little lean to just a few feet away?


When you say “a few”, I’m guessing 3 feet. I would move the hive 1ft.6" per day.


Good guess! It is three feet away but do you think that it would be better to have them under a roof? There would be a lot less sun but it would be sheltered.


Hi, in the shade is good as long as it isn’t heavily shaded. I find that bees are always a bit crankier in a heavily shaded spot. Full sun is also ok as long as your hive’s lid (on a traditional hive) is painted a cool color. I think the flow hive lid is cool by design.