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Author Topic: Best time to move hives?  (Read 169 times)

Offline 2Sox

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Best time to move hives?
« on: November 04, 2019, 09:29:28 am »
I need to move my hives once again across the yard - about 25 feet.  Just can't get around it.  Should I do it before the frosts set in up here or do it mid winter?  I'm leaning towards now - at least least if they are still flying they'll have a better chance to find home in a few days.  What do you think?
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Offline BAHBEEs

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2019, 10:16:55 am »
Dead of winter is optimal.  If it is good and frozen for at least 3 days.  When they come back out they will reorient anyway...thus confusing no one.  If you move that distance and they can fly...you may have very confused and lost bees, that never find the box...even just 25 feet away.  I have heard of hive completely lost this way.


3 feet or 3 miles, everything in-between is best done while cold as all heck.

Barry

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 10:38:57 am »
Yes, three feet or three miles is the way to go.  But I'm limited in regards to that.

I was thinking that too - in the dead of winter was the best.  But I'm fearful that if I jar the hives in some way while carrying them across the yard, and they break cluster it would be trouble. Seen that happen. I don't want to risk that. Thoughts?
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline JConnolly

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2019, 03:26:37 pm »
Just move it on the first day that it's too cold to fly.  (Weather.com shows that will be this coming Friday or Saturday for you.)  Any bees that depart on the next fly day (which won't be for another week) are foragers and the hive is depleting forager population right now anyways.  For most places in climate zones 7 or lower foraging is a negative activity now, supporting a large forager population that can't fly on most days takes more food than the foragers are bringing in, so if they get lost its a net positive for the hive.  The winter bees that are emerging aren't flying, they haven't been outside to learn where the hive is at and will never know it used to be somewhere else.


Offline 2Sox

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 11:43:21 am »
Just move it on the first day that it's too cold to fly.  (Weather.com shows that will be this coming Friday or Saturday for you.)  Any bees that depart on the next fly day (which won't be for another week) are foragers and the hive is depleting forager population right now anyways.  For most places in climate zones 7 or lower foraging is a negative activity now, supporting a large forager population that can't fly on most days takes more food than the foragers are bringing in, so if they get lost its a net positive for the hive.  The winter bees that are emerging aren't flying, they haven't been outside to learn where the hive is at and will never know it used to be somewhere else.

Very logical thinking. Thanks.  I believe I'll do something like this.  The bees are still all over the asters here so I'll just wait for a bit and move them in a few weeks.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 12:41:29 pm »
I would (and do) just move them.  Even 100 yards or more, but not a half a mile (probably the worst distance).  In the cold the main issue is for them not to be searching for home while the temperature is plunging...
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Offline 2Sox

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Re: Best time to move hives?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 01:31:38 pm »
I would (and do) just move them.  Even 100 yards or more, but not a half a mile (probably the worst distance).  In the cold the main issue is for them not to be searching for home while the temperature is plunging...

Understood.  As you probably know, this weekend most of the country is expecting an Arctic blast.  It will be in the 30s here. I'm looking out my window right now and the bees are flying all over the place.  Asters in their last bloom. Also, I have 4 one quart inverted bottle feeders, inside an empty super on each hive right now.  If I moved them now, I'd have that much more work to do taking them off and putting them back on. What do you think?
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism