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Temporarily moving/cleaning


#1

When initially setting up my hive I thought about putting concrete under my hive but of the time I did not. Now I would like to do something under my hive other than just grass. What I thought about doing is putting felt paper under my concrete blocks that my hive sits on and around it and then put gravel on top of it. I see this doing a couple of things, keeps weeds out and potentially does not allow insects for our mites hive beetles to lay eggs in the soil and migrate back up.

Please correct any of the above for I’m sure I’ve got a lot of misconceptions there as well. How I thought about doing it is

Suiting up, moving the hive about 5 feet away temporarily maybe 40 minutes while I quickly move the blocks out of the way and put felt paper down, possibly even a couple of layers. Move all the blocks and 2 buys back, getting it level then putting the hive back in the same location.

What is the harm and potentially moving the hive around like I’m suggesting, is there harm/and/or benefits in doing what I’m thinking with the felt paper and gravel.

Any and all suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated. Here is a link to my website basically to keep my mother informed, but you can see photos and videos of my one hive set up. It will soon be 2 hive sitting side-by-side see attached picture as well. The 2nd hive will go in place in about 2 weeks, thought I would get prepared now moving one hive I think is better than moving 2.


#2

Well, I can tell you from moving our hives a few feet recently, that it can get “interesting”! We moved one off the stand to put “ant moats” in place under the hive early in the afternoon. It took a while, as we had to position the moats correctly on top of the cement blocks, then we decided that we needed a sheet of plywood to improve stability. The returning foragers were extremely confused, but not aggressive.

The second hive we dismantled to set up an Arnia hive monitor in it. This took about 2 hours, and once again, the foragers were not happy, and guards were bumping us repeatedly too. We were surrounded by a cloud of bees by the end, and they bearded unhappily too for a few hours (in protest, I think! :smile: ) once the hive was back in position.

So… I would recommend that if you have enough muscle power to lift the whole hive in one piece, I would close off the entrance the night before with some #8 hardware cloth or insect screen. Then you won’t be bothered by guards or foragers while you sort out the ground under the hive. You can let them out when you move the hive back, and they should be just fine even for a day or more if you use a ventilated entrance block. Just a thought.


#3

Thank you very much for this based off of this information I likely will leave everything in place and place just some additional felt on the ground and then stone on top of that.

My girls never go inside at night or at least a large portion of them don’t. So for me to trap them inside would not be easy at all.

Just some of my additional thoughts looking for other feedback as well


#4

Just remember Marty that hive beetle larva will travel up to 100-150ft to find a suitable location to pupate. I have laid down gravel around my hives for that reason and it is approx. 2-3 inches thick, I expect the larva will still travel across the top of the gravel but hopefully it will be difficult enough that some will perish in the process.


#5

I do put Diatomaceous Earth ‘Food Grade’ in a water bucket and put it around the base of the hive and 5 to 10 feet out every couple of months. Hopefully the little suckers will get scraped and die


#6

Marty - i think the only reason to move the hive would be to add stability underneath. I put down play sand then placed some square home depot pavers. I’m in Dallas, so if you need someone else to suit up and help you lift let me know.


#7

Sorry for butting in but I’ve been mulling over a similar idea of setting up a garden hive and wondered about the logistics. My initial gut feeling about your task was to plug the hype the night before until you’re done just like I considered for myself - I just hope mine will like to sleep inside. But what about the garden around?

I see you have grass around the hive at the moment, how did you go about mowing it? Plug up the hive the previous night? Mow in full suit?
What’s the average distance bees have tolerated a lawnmower around everyone’s hives?


#8

My girls are really calm, I’ve mowed and we need around my hive in shorts no shirt. I don’t spend a lot of time and I do occasionally stop and then come back to complete a few minutes later just to let them calm down a bit more.


#9

After reading all the post, I’m strictly going to put down some felt paper, sand and then gravel on top of it or even as you suggested Home Depot pavers may look even better.

So I don’t need a strong back, but meeting up or seeing each other set up would be nice. What be club do you attend? I go to the Collin County bee club


#10

i went to my first Trinity Valley meeting a couple weeks ago. lots of experienced and new folks in attendance. i will be in town throughout labor day weekend, maybe we can get together then. send me a text to 919-349-0275 so we can exchange contact info.


#11

I think it depends on the bees and the season. Our bees are currently the most docile we have ever had. Our gardeners even use a loud leaf blower just a few feet from the hive, with no issues at all. On the other hand, we have had bees that didn’t like a mower 20 feet away. During a nectar dearth, hives can get less tolerant and more defensive too, so just because our bees are well-behaved at the moment, it doesn’t mean I can get complacent! :blush:


#12

@Martydallas
Wow, I think I’ll need a while to get that comfortable even if the bees I receive next year turn out docile as lambs ^^

@Dawn_SD
Sounds workable, thanks. I try to wait out the bloom phases of flowers in the lawn anyway so it usually happens in spurts of 1 to 3 months ^^
Fortunately my mowing will be the only one I have to consider so I can experiment and accomodate as needed without having to schedule/combine work dates for neighbors. Even talking to them previously I can see how having to schedule work time in their own garden might easily provoke frustration. But I got lucky, bordering west is a vegetable garden that will love the bees’ attention and the garages to the east won’t mind either.


#13

If this became an issue, you could erect a 6ft (2m) high barrier around the hives to force the bees up above head level. Then as long as the entrance is not pointing towards a public pathway, you shouldn’t have any issues with the bees. There are many ways to achieve this, for example a hedge, trellis with climbing plants or a fence. We put up an enclosure with deer fence and garage door insect screen in our community garden, using T-post fencing:

None of the gardeners have been bothered by the bees, so I guess our fence works! It was required by the City of San Diego urban beekeeping regulations, so we had to do it in any case.


#14

LOL, there are times it scares me as well. and I don’t do it all the time. I am quick about it when I do it. I am sure as Dawn said above that if there is a dearth they will be more agressive.


#15

I was planning on enclosing them with a pet net (like you use on balconies) anyway, to keep my cats from investigating the hive too closely. They’ve been good about the wild bees and bumblebees in our garden but a new elevated sitting spot might just be too tempting.
Switching to insect mesh sounds like a great idea, I’ll probably do that! So far I thought a barrier would probably only guide the foragers and not deter guards from attacking what they perceive as threat but if it works for you I’ll give it a try, thanks :slight_smile:


#16

When I do mow the yard around them it’s typically early morning when I believe most of the bees have left the hive for the day foraging. Not much flight movement at that time


#17

I’m here to report I won’t be cleaning or mowing around my hive anymore without protection.

Sunday morning, yesterday I started mowing around my hive and one flew up and defended herself on my hand. I quickly scurried away and put on my be sued to finish the job. I was just being foolish and or brazen likely a little of both.