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movement of hive during winter

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bebop 

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Yesterday both my good lady and myself were stung! The girls seemed really aggresive which at the moment is a rarity. Maybe the hive is not in the right position (it's by the greenhouse and close to the washing line) although we haven't had any trouble with them before. It was then that I started to think about moving the hive. I have read about the 6 ins rule etc. but I was wondering if it was possible to move the hive further when they were all locked up tight for winter? grouphug: Reasoning: when they come out in spring they would orientate themselves to the new position therefore everything would be OK.
 

oliver90owner 

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I have read about the 6 ins rule etc

I know about the 3 feet, 3 mile rule, but what is this 6 inch rule?
 

Poly Hive 

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Um... 6" rule?

Three feet or less or three miles or more is the usual.

You have bees and are surprised at being stung? Goes with the country sorry to say.

I walked through my apiary yesterday and from 35 units got a sting on the neck... and?

PH
 

the naked beekeeper 

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To actually answer the question....

yes you can move them in Winter when they will not be out flying for a long period.
Or hardly at all.
Say January time.



Hives in the garden is a bad idea IMO.

Bees and people aren't meant to mix that closely.

They aren't fluffy little creaturs, they're wild insects who can turn in a moment
at any number of things which sets them off.

Most of the time, it may well be fine.

But the one time it isn't, just isn't worth waiting for.

Bees deserve respect and caution.
And if they haven't got it, they will command it! lol
 

andycadman 

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The "6 rule" detracts from the original question - "movement of hive during winter".

I have heard that it is possible to move hives short distances in winter with out worrying about the 3' or 3 mile rule. How true is this. For example is it possible to move a hive say 30 yards in winter without first taking it 3 miles away?

It could save me a couple of journeys!

Sorry just seen the latest reply.
 
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huntsman666 

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bebop; you can move them more than 6". Anything up to 36" during the active period. Just make sure the entrance faces the same way.

Perhaps best to leave three weeks between each move if you're going for the full 36" more than once. No reason why you can't 'creep' them a few inches every day.

Do bees lose their memory in winter? Don't see why but their territory may change dramatically with leaf fall and they have to re-orientate because of that, not memory.
 
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badger65 

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What time needs to be left between 3 foot moves. I need to move around 12 foot.
 

oliver90owner 

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What time needs to be left between 3 foot moves.

More than time for the bees that were out to return, before the previous move!

That would mean common sense dictating one move per day would be safe, less than that could be possible but might depend on how long the bees stay out on a foraging trip.

RAB
 

the naked beekeeper 

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I do it every other day.

Try and keep the entrance remotely orientated the same way and it'll help a bit.
 

huntsman666 

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Three weeks after the first move all the field bees who knew the old position will be gone. New field bees after the first move only know the new position.

So in say two weeks, the bulk of the old girls will be dead and if it was me and I was pushed to move them again, I do it around 8 -14 days. Other than that, I'd wait the full three weeks until only bees that have to do one move will be present.

Keep in mind, the three week rule for field bees can be as long as five to six weeks depending on conditions.

This opinion may only be worth what you paid for it but I hope it helps.
 
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nelletap 

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I read on this forum - but could not find the post - that someone described using a long plank of wood which they painted white and placed in front of a hive for a while prior to moving it. Then they moved the hive - and I think they said they had moved hives by about 10 or 12 feet using this method because once they moved the hive they positioned the plank orientated as it had been before in relation to the hive.
It sounds plausible!
 

RoseCottage 

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OK so just to lower the tone...


I understood the 6" rule was a male thing...

"No honestly, its 3ft it just looks shorter in dim light..."


:eek:

Sam
 

richardbees 

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It can be done - I moved an active colony in a brood box to a new location about 1,200 yards away, last month. I fixed the floor to the box, gently smoked the colony during the afternoon and screwed an open mesh screen onto the box under the roof. Then sealed the entrance at 10pm and put some small blocks under the roof to ensure top ventilation.

The following afternoon, moved the hive by car to it's new location and unsealed the entrance at 10pm (24 hours later) - then stuffed the entrance with cut grass.

By mid morning next day(36 hours later) they'd cleared enough space to get out - and were visibly doing 'orienteering flights'

No bees returned to the old site.

I think I'd read how to do it in Ted Hooper's 'Guide to Bees and Honey'
 

Balloonies 

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We've been moving ours from one allotment to another about 3ft every few days in the evening when they've all come home. The next morning there have been about 10-20 bees looking for the original site but the majority have found their way to the new place. Its taking a while but we'll get them where they need to be soon!
 

oliver90owner 

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nelletap,

I read on this forum - but could not find the post

You were quite right, 10 or 12 feet, no bother. It was a post where the hives were very close together (abour 6 inches, I think, but may have been even less than 6 inches) One just needs to think without blinkers; his idea was a good one and obviously works for him so should work in this hemisphere. Check out Glenn's posts and you will find it. You remember? The fellow from down under.
 

drstitson 

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a good rule of thumb for your 3 ft steps is to do it at the same time as your inspections ie weekly (KISS). you can also do staggered turns at same time (45 or max 90 degrees at once).

BTW can move hive a bit more than 3 feet if heading backwards as most bees will leave and return along a conical flight path pointing forwards from the entrance - in that case a foot or two extra makes no difference to the bees.
 
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