Yard Renovation and New Hive

So I am renovating my backyard to remove all the grass and install a small orchard. Some regrading is needed along with modification of planter walls and whatnot. This was all supposed to be done before the bees arrived, but my contractor has been delayed and here we are with newly-installed bees on the property while heavy earthwork is planned.

The grass under my hive has already been removed, but the work will come within about 10 feet of the hive and will include scraping, hammering, dumping earth nearby, and other loud events and/or vibrations. What would you do with the bees in this case?

Do I cover the hive entrance each morning while they’re still asleep and let them out each afternoon when the problematic work is complete for the day? Do I just leave them be and assume it’ll be fine? Do I move the hive across the yard to a temporary location for a few weeks? Something else? I’m in Los Angeles, where the daytime weather in the next few weeks will be anything between cool and hot.

What would you do?

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It might be ok if you just face the entrance away and put up some sort of fly over barrier.

Depending on how long the work is going to take or how the bees react, you could also move the hive a couple miles away (maybe you have a friend who likes the future promise of some honey) and then moving it back when the work is done.

I would not recommend closing them in, but if that is your only option, make sure they have plenty of ventilation, and shade on hot/sunny days.

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Thanks. The entrance is facing directly away from the action, so that’s good I guess. There is an apple tree and a 6 foot fence fairly close in that direction, so they tend to fly up pretty quickly when exiting. By “fly over barrier”, are you saying I should have one between the rear of the hive and the work area or do you just mean in front of the entrance? I could easily rig up something temporary if that would matter.

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As long as they don’t see the threat and are going up and away you’re probably in good shape. If they are defensive despite that, maybe you need a new queen anyway!

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So far the colony has been extremely mellow, so the hope is that sticks. Thanks again.

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Bees don’t do as they are told. No matter what barrier you put up they will react to the vibration, shapes and movements.

Move the hive to a friend or families garden until the work is done.

Your asking for trouble with that all going on around a hive.

Bees will be out over night and foragers out early morning. Youll always have Bees coming and going locking up the hive means any returning cant get back into thier home.

Locking it up for most of the day will reduce foraging and stores coming into the hive, reduced stores when its probably needed, poor nutrition and increased humidity is a Nosema problem in the making.

Good luck :+1:


I agree with @HappyHibee , you have to consider the vibrations. Vibrations is one of the triggers that turns bees defensive.

Another thing to consider is the workers, you want any of them walking off the job on account of aggressive bees.

Thanks for the ideas all.

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