Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Moving hives  (Read 5029 times)

Offline Bluegroper

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Gender: Male
Moving hives
« on: February 20, 2023, 05:41:09 am »
I have a hive I wish to move from my back yard to a new location on my property, I plan to move the Hive at night. The new location is just over 2km away, is this far enough to get them to re-orientate and not return to the original location?

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 12634
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: Moving hives
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2023, 07:11:37 am »
I have read 2 miles is the general rule.
"Finsky" once said, "Bees recognize the scenery and use old directions." He also said he has moved bees 3.3 miles and lost a portion of bees.

Quoting Finsky speaking of 3.3 miles
"Once there turned half medium box of bees and another year about 1000 bees. Other years none.  To medium box I gived a queen and I got a faint nuc."



Personally I have never moved bees less than 8 miles, not for the purposes you require but it happens to be the location of my second apiary. I wish I could give you a better answer.

Phillip
« Last Edit: February 20, 2023, 07:25:10 am by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline BeeMaster2

  • Administrator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13529
  • Gender: Male
Re: Moving hives
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2023, 07:38:31 am »
Blue,
I have moved hives many times between my neighbor house and mine and from one side of my yard to the other. The trick is to put something in front of the hive to block their flight path. I use a palm frond. Do it at night like you mentioned. The blocked flight forces them to reorient to the new location. Bees will still go back to the old location, especially the ones that spent the night in the field. The older field bees will also go back to the old location by habit. Place a hive box with empty frames in it at the old location in the evening, at so set, put the box on top of the hive. The following day watch the old location. You will probably have bees returning to it but they will go to the and then fly to the new location. If you have bees that just stay there then do the empty hive trick again. I have never had to do it more than two days.
The old field bees will probably continue to go to the old location first until they die. When I have moved a hiv a few feet the old bees do a S pattern to make he old location and then to the new location for a couple of weeks.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 19917
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Moving hives
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2023, 07:38:55 am »
2km is about the worst distance.  The bees will know their way back home.  More would be better.  Less would be better.

https://bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm

How about this.  Move the two hives but put a frame of brood and a frame of honey in a box at the old location so the returning bees have somewhere to go and see how that goes.  Ideal would be to move them more than 5 km for a couple of weeks at least and then to the new location.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 12634
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: Moving hives
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2023, 08:00:30 am »
>The old field bees will probably continue to go to the old location first until they die.

Maybe so or they may find the moved hive or other moved hives to the same new spot and beg in being it was so close to the old location?

> How about this.  Move the two hives but put a frame of brood and a frame of honey in a box at the old location so the returning bees have somewhere to go and see how that goes.

Good idea as well, and basically what Finsky did if I understood him correctly. In other words he made the best of the situation and let the straggling bees themselves form a small split with his help. "To medium box I gived a queen and I got a faint nuc." I assumed what he was saying or meant was, he placed a medium box in the old location providing a place for the confused returning bees to rest and deposit nectar, then he added a queen making a nice small nuc..   

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.