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Transferring a Hive to Long Hive- a short distance- What to do?


Ok- it’s time to move my ten frame Nuc box stack hive into my long hive. I have several options and can’t work out what to do. Currently the plan is to move the colony around two meters to the left.

Here is the Nuc stack hive:

Here you can see the base for the long hive in relation to the Nuc:

Option 1) By far the easiest way to go about it would be to transfer the frames one by one across to the new hive. But from what I have read that will be bad for the foragers- even so short a distance in one step will cause too much confusion and bee loss?

Option 2) So the next option would be to move the Nuc hive onto that stand in the evening- with the entrance right where it will be in the long hive… place a bushy branch in front of the entrance and wait 2/3 days - then move the Nuc to the side- get the long hive in place and transfer the frames quickly?

Other options are to have the new hive further away- maybe 30 feet or more.

Any thoughts or advice? Could I just do option 1 or is it too risky? How would you go about it?


Following your progress. You are brave enough to try the unproven. No doubt the more expedienced will give you some advice. Well, hope so. Good luck!


Option 2 only for a week not 2-3 days. This was how long the bees stayed at the original location when I moved them a few metres.
Either way they will stay with the queen and brood.


I agree with @skeggley, option 2 for a week. Failing that, move the long hive right next to where your nucleus currently sits and use Option 1. But it looks like you have a wall or a raised patio preventing that. I would love to hear what you decide and how it goes. :blush:


oK- so every day for the last 12 days it was too warm to do my little hive move- every evening there was a large beard of bees out at night enjoying the warm evenings. Last night was cool all the bees were indoors and I was finally able to move it. I placed a branch directly in front of the hive entrance. This morning there are large numbers of bees hovering at the old location- every so often one breaks off and flies to the new hive. I placed a big metal stick thing as a bridge to try and give the bees a visual clue- some seemed to follow it. Should I be worried that quite a few bees won’t make the transition? I could place a nuc box with empty frames at the old location- I am sure the bees would enter it- but what then? I could shake them into the new location- or (as I think) am I better off leaving them alone? Should I put a little feeder at the old location in case any bees get hungry and tired out flying around?

the plan is to leave the hive where it is for 3 to 4 days- then to move it to the side- place the long hive where it was- and quickly transfer over all the frames. I have the current hive entrance located to within a few inches of where the entrance will be on the long hive. I’m hoping the bees will pretty much fly straight in. does this sound like a plan?


Hi Michelle, sorry I’m a bit confused. How far away from where the bees are used to landing is the new landing spot?


Yeah- maybe just a bit over two meters. There was no easy way of doing in incrementally as the first location was up high on a ledge. There is another hive 5 feet behind the first location- so two hives within 2 meters radius- im feeling confident the bees will find a home in one or another- I feel sorry for the ones circling around their old home location… poor bees.:disappointed_relieved:

the rear hive is getting robbed today- I’ve been incrementally draining two frames over the last 3 hours- the bucket is filling (two other frames drained last week- 2 more to go after that)! The honey is very viscous - very low water content:


I moved a hive last year about 11 metres. I did it by moving the hive about 60cm every day. Every time I got sick of doing it in such small increments and tried to push the distance, they got really lost. Congratulations on the harvest by the way.


The old saying used to be three feet or three miles if I remember correctly. How about much thicker/more branches perhaps?


I think it worked - by sunset just about every bee I saw was heading to the new location- I think if the issue was more branches- after the first day it would’ve been too late?

I spent half an hour with an umbrella jumping around ‘herding’ wayward bees to the new location- which was surprisingly effective…:sob::smirk:

The robbing also went well- honey is so thick- tested with a refractometer it is 14.9% water content. Taste is excellent- has a citrus tang

Differences Honey Flow vs Traditional Hive

When I moved mine a short distance there were bees flying around the old location for a few days, the number gradually decreased daily and within a week there were none at the old site. Make sure the old stand is also removed.