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Relocating Hive

Looking for opinions on how we should go about moving our hive 30 metres. We live South East Victoria. I have read alot of different ways in which to do it. I wasnt keen on moving them 1 metre a day. I was thinking of locking them up (ensuring adequate air flow) for 24-48 hours, moving the hive to the destination, uncovering entrance and putting a branch or something in front of the entrance so they have to re route. Can i lock them up and leave them where they are? or do i have to locate them into a shed for 24-48 hours then move them to the new location? the weather here over the next couple of days is cool and raining, so thought it was a good opportunity.
They seem to be a very strong hive coming out of winter upon our inspection a couple of days ago. 1/3 brood, 1/3 capped honey. Is this enough stores for them if they are locked up?

Hi Brooke, if you can move them a few K’s away for a week or two then move them where you like.
Or just move them and put some branches in the way of their exit after you move them.

I wanted to avoid the moving them away a few km option if i could. Keep them locked up for 24-48hours or that doesnt really matter?

Or just move them and put some branches in the way of their exit after you move them.
Which forces them to reorientate when leaving home for work.

That doesn’t help all that much, and it can be quite harmful. As Skeggs says, you need to force them to re-orient. If you have a large shrub in a tub that you could put right in front of the hive entrance (so that they have to manouevre around it to get out), that will make most of them re-orient. You will probably get a few slow-learners back at the original site for a couple of days, but they should find their way home eventually.


I have twice in the last few years had to move my hives 70 meters from their original site, I moved them at night in one move and cluttered up the entrances with branches with leaves on them. That move was a no choice situation and goes against a lot of advice about moving a meter a day or to move them away for a week. There may have been some bee drift between the hives but very few bees returned to the original hives location which was within line of sight, no buildings or foliage between both locations. On my experience Brooke I regard what I did a total success so just do it. I left the clutter at the entrances for a week and removed it all in one ‘clean up’.

Great thankyou. So you don’t put a branch at the front of the entrance on the landing pad, you literally put it in the entrance?

You can do either, just don’t block the entrance completely. The concept is to make it hard for the bees to exit, so that they have to slow down and take stock of their surroundings and remember a new image of “home”. It works, but it will only be partially effective. You will still get a few stragglers at the old hive site for a few days, as I mentioned. For that reason, it may be better not to plan any gardening or outside parties until things have settled. :wink:

As I said Brooke, I cluttered up the entrance, or as you have said in front of the entrance. I don’t put anything into the entrance. The idea is for the bees to realize things have changed and to look about and re-orientate to the new hive location.

Went to move the hive tonight. I knew it was a strong hive but not strong enough that they don’t fit. Putting super on tomorrow. (Obviously didn’t move the hive) it’s only 12degrees here. Hoping they will be ok.

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Hi @Brooke , nice setup. You must really care for them to have both shelter and foam housing.

The population is higher at night due to the foragers returning at night.

I personally would shift the brood, then the super - one less thing to shift. But that’s entirely up to you.

Have fun with beekeeping. It’s addictive.