Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Temporary moving hives


I’ve been thinking for a while to temporary move my hives about 4 or 5 metres, so I can level the ground with gravel and build a a bigger stand than can hold both my hives with enough space to put the super on the stand when inspecting, instead on the uneven ground. My kids and I will have a more comfortable and safer space to work in.

My plan was to move the hives one by one a metre a time or so, because I have to carry them box by box not as a sealed hive.

Is there an ideal time of year to do this? Definitely not in the middle of winter. I’m hoping that moving a hive one metre the bee will still be able to find their own hive and not go to my other one.

Further to my question above, if I move one of the hives first by 2m instead of 1m, will the bees still be able to find the hive. The other hive will be closer to the their hive’s original position.

I would move the hive 1 meter at a time and the bees will find their own hive without a problem. Maybe move one hive on day then the other hive the next and the next day move the first hive again. You could do that any time of the year. Be prepared to have the guard bees being angry and move the complete hive as a single unit if you can, it will be less stress to the bees. You could move them any time of the year and I would do it during the day when most of the bees are away foraging. Expect some confusion with bees flying about but they will sort out where home is.

Thanks Peter48 that was my plan, so will stick to 1m at a time. I can’t move them as a single unit unfortunately, way too heavy. Can’t do the move in winter if I have to separate the boxes to move.

I should have sorted the site before I had the hives in place, but hindsight is 20/20.

Even best made plans can go pear shaped. No, you shouldn’t make the move in Winter if the temp is below 23C and you need to remove the super to make a lighter lift. Too much risk of brood chill.

Hi Perth, I find that even a heavy hive is easy to slide on 2 hardwood rails. Maybe you could make a stand with besser blocks & hardwood rails. If you could riggle the hive onto the rails, then slide the hive 1 meter per day. Just be careful using that method that you have a counter weight on the opposite end while putting the hive on, otherwise things CAN go pear shaped :slight_smile:


Thanks for the help Jeff.
I hear you mate. Sliding on hardwood rails is unfortunately not possible. It would be great if it was. There is also a Grasstree in the way. My property is on a rocky slope and I don’t have a level square inch here.

My hives are located in a ‘perfect’ spot, visible from the kitchen, without being a nuisance to anyone. I levelled 60x60cm square for a large paver to place them on. The problem is that when I inspect the hives I don’t have anywhere safe to place the super. I take a milk crate with me but it is not ideal and it is an accident waiting to happen.

1 Like

Gees, that all sounds so familiar to me of when I started bee keeping with two hives but when I got well addicted to keeping bees I had to make some serious decisions but expanding my apiary always won. :thinking:

hi @Perth, this is what I did, similar situation as you have.
I made a 1.8x1.8 m pine deck in the shed, including sealing the pine timbers.
I dug the 4 post holes for the stumps that support the pine deck, And squared and leveled the posts ready to put the deck on.
Then one cool night I closed the entry on both hives, after I used some smoke to persuade a few stragglers to get back in.
Then had a mate help me lift the hives out of the way and help lift the deck on the stumps.
That took 2 hrs and lifted the hives back on the new deck, basically in the same position they were in before, maybe just a fraction higher.
When job finished, opened the entry again.
Next day the bees went happily about their business without any problems.
I will load a couple before and after pics.
The ground has a fall but all sand
Cheers, G

1 Like

That’s great George. I would be more than happy if I had your “before photo” kind of comfort. Mine are literally on the rocks.

What I had in mind is nowhere as sleek as yours. I was going to level the area with gravel, then have two rails joined together like a ladder, and supported on short legs, which will serve as long stand for the hives.

This area is all granite, I can’t dig for stumps.

Hi @Perth. Yes I thought that, after I posted my reply.
Considering you are on the scarp, all granite.
Probably still doable but you need to get some special stirrups made to the required length and bold them to the granite.
Anyway, just a thought. Good luck with the move.
Cheers, G

Look in the pictures section for some inspiration you don’t really need much to prep an area on the ground.

An old pallet collar filled with chunky bricks then levelled with some chip stones or Mulch works just as well.

Few plants around it looks the bomb

Where is that Dean? I’d love to have a look.

Dean in is Tamworth in the West Midlands in England, a bit far to pay a visit mate. :smiley:

I thought @HappyHibee was referring to a pictures section on the forum, not in the UK. My bad.

If you click on his icon you will see where he is from as he has filled it out. Some folks seem to feel it is best not to fill it out. I thought the pic was from his place but maybe not.

In the search drop down click unread you will hopefully see a thread Show a pic of your set up. Almost 600 posts with lots of ideas.

If you don’t see the thread in unread in the search box type the same title Show pic of your set up.

Your more than welcome to visit though :rofl::rofl: you too Peter :wink:


It must be this thread Dean. Thanks.
I had a look and there is some inspiration in there.

I’m inclined to build just a simple ladder frame with modular adjustable support legs to work around my uneven ground.

Can I throw out some suggestions regarding your stand mate?
Tough I’m gunna anyway.
If you can include the extraction bucket rest on the stand.
Make sure you can grease the legs for ant control.
Ensure the height is comfortable. Mid thigh height, makes removing the super easier.
Having extra width is good as it gives room for storing boxes during inspections. I made mine a comfortable 3 hive width for a 2 hive set up.
Even flooring behind the hive. Apparently it’s not great losing your footing and having 30000 angry bees on your chest.
Remember a fully loaded hive is heavy and requires good support.
Try not to make the stand permanent. Sometimes it’s in a better spot just a little to the left.
These are things that come to mind which experience has taught me I’m sure there are more but…

Excellent tips @skeggley.

The hives are already on a stand each around 30cm high and I find them perfect height to work on. The new one will be similar. What I miss is that extra space in between to place a super on when inspecting. As you say, a three hive stand for two hives.

I will not make it permanent for the reasons you mentioned, and that flooring behind will have to be gravel.