Moving Bee Hives to a new location.

sinjinJune 4, 2008

My grandfather was a bee keeper and had 13 Bee hives. He regretfully passed away recently. I have taken over care for his bees. I live approximately 1/2 a mile from his farm. I live in on The Eastern Shore of Maryland. My question is I want to move the bee hives over to my house so I can tend to them. I dont know if there is a certain time of the year that they can be moved. My fear is that I will move the hives and they will attempt to return to where they were.

Any Sgguestions......

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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

If you're able to leave them (and continue working them, there), that's what I'd do for now. I'm not sure when your main honey flow is, but I'd guess the hives are heavy (or will be shortly) with the surplus honey you want. Generally, to answer your question, I'd say the best time to move them is during the late Winter or early, early Spring - the bees aren't flying; the population is the lowest and most of the heavy honey (food) stores have been consumed. Plus, you may find it to your advantage to combine hives if you have any 'dead outs' from the Winter at that point.

You are right to be concerned about loosing the field forager population if you try and move them now. The problem is your distance - too great to move the hives, little by little and not great enough distance to move them without the bees re-orienting to their old location.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:39PM
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Thank You Txbeeguy. I will take your advice and wait until the late winter.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 7:10PM
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bandit_tx(z7-8 TX)

You can move beehives anytime. Place a leafy branch across the entrance after the move to force the bees to re-orient to the new location. Migratory beekeepers don't have the luxury of waiting. I move my hives as necessary.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:43AM
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barbara_muret(ctr OK)

a;though its true you can move them any time - remember to wait until well after dark so you know everyone is inside and net them so no one leaves until they are at their new location

they won't return to an old location like a dog or cat

bees are extremely intelligent, when their outside landmarks are "wrong" they will re-orient

its after the fact now - but someone else might need help for the future... right before bloom starts is a good time...lowest weight, but the bees will be cranky (dearth)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 6:44PM
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I cut the screen to close up the hives about 3"X 15" and found it a little flimsy, so I recut pieces about 5" X 15" and folded them over a small board (to make them straight) in a Z fashion. When putting them into the hive, I put the bottom part of the Z on the bottom and used my hive tool to push into the top part of the Z. It made a sort of spring and closed up the entrance more fully than if I had only done the V fold. Most of the sites I have looked at don't tell you how large to cut the screen, and it took me some trial and error to come up with a "better mousetrap".

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:28AM
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Foam in the shape of cylinders works well too for blocking the entrance. Like someone else said, just do it early or late when most of the bees are home.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Two ratcheing straps around the hive and any supers will hold everything together. Then you can use a dolly to move the hives to and from your truck. If you must tilt the hive do it front to back and as little as necessary so you don't get the frames flopping around. As noted move after dark, block the entrance, paper towels or cotton towels work. Put an entrance reducer on after the move for a day or two. Obstruct the bees exit somehow so they will look around and not get lost. Get help, hives are heavy.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 9:24PM
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