Moving a hive to another apiary

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sparklysally

New Bee
Joined
May 3, 2023
Messages
8
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8
Location
London
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
15
So I have a double-height polynuc that I'll need to move to another apiary asap (assuming that it's not too tall for the car). The other apiary is 0.9 miles away as the crow/bee flies.

This is how I was planning to do it:

shut up the nuc in the evening, and strap it all together securely.

drive it to the new apiary

put sticks or shrubbery in front of entrance at new location, to let bees know they've moved

keep entrance shut for one day, until the next evening (so 24hrs total)

And then hope that they realise this is a new apiary when I open the entrance.

Is this the way you would recommend? How long should I keep the bees shut in for after putting the nuc in the new apiary, do you think? Or is this part even not necessary, if I'm putting bits in front of the entrance anyway?

Thanks in advance!
 
I would if you have a spare nuc/hive put that on the old site move bees and let them out the following morning keeping them in for 24 hrs or really even the brash in front won’t make a difference.
On another note I’ve moved bees about the same distance as you but there was a hill in the way woodland etc .
 
I wouldn't do it unless there was half an acre of trees and a few hills in-between. You will end up with flying bees back at the old site. If you do do it then leave an empty hive at the old site and every night after dark take this to the new site and knock them out onto a ramp for them to climb up into their hive on the new site. Yes, a real hassle. Eventually they will stay there. Or move them a good distance away first.
Whatever you do, let us know how it goes for the info of everyone else needing to do the same. Good luck
 
Never found the twigs trick very reliable. Placing the hive on a different compass bearing helps in my experience. Definitely an empty box on the old site, but best is a temporary move of 2-3 miles
 
They'll need a travelling screen rather than the normal roof otherwise they will overheat very quickly, even with a mesh floor.
 
In poly definitely put a full mesh screen on the top and I certainly wouldn’t lock in, they cook very quickly in poly even with a short move and certainly if crowded and confined.
I wouldn’t leave any box in the original position it will just add to attract attention simply remove everything. I had a site a similar distance away and would often move between the 2. You may get a few returnees but I’ve normally found it’s minimal.
 
Thanks for all your replies. I drove the nuc over to the other site last night, and opened the entrance as soon as I'd put it in position.
There are other hives here at the old location, so I'm hoping now that any returnees will beg their way into one of these. But so far this morning, I'm not seeing any lost-looking bees here.
I'm planning to go check out the nuc in a few hours to see what they're up to there. I'll do an update once I know.

Thanks.
 
Just to give one final update: I checked the nuc at the new location at about midday on the day after it was moved. Lots of foragers going out and in the entrance like normal ie. I don't think they've all returned to the old location, and I saw very few (if any) lost-looking bees at the old place. I guess there are other factors at play, in addition to just distance from original site, and they have figured out that they've been moved? So all good here.
 
I was going to suggest that if there are hives at the old site, any bees that return can find their way into those. Problem solved.
Factors will include the location of any forage compared to their old and new location.
And I am pleased that you did not shut them in for a day - not a good idea.
 
Ah! Failed to mention there were hives at the old site..... Makes a huge difference. Even if some of the flyers returned they would be fine and you will always have the nurse bees stay at the new site.
 

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