Moving Hives 0.5 Miles

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gwt_uk

House Bee
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
98
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
5
Hello all,

I have to move 3 of my colonies quite soon. Got a couple of complaints from a homeowner about bees in her garden/house and a horse owner who wasn’t happy that the bees were collecting water from her buckets.

I have another possible site lined up but it looks about less than 0.5 miles from the current site. If I move them will the bees just return to the old site?
 
Hello all,

I have to move 3 of my colonies quite soon. Got a couple of complaints from a homeowner about bees in her garden/house and a horse owner who wasn’t happy that the bees were collecting water from her buckets.

I have another possible site lined up but it looks about less than 0.5 miles from the current site. If I move them will the bees just return to the old site?
Can you move them temporarily to somewhere further away and then to you new site ? The usual wisdom is 3 feet or 3 miles but, in reality, if there is forage local to the new site and some obstructions in between you can get away with a bit less than 3 miles but... as JBM - 0.5 miles and the odds are that you will get bees returning to the original location and making a nuisance of themselves if there is no hive for them to return to.
 
You will have more homeless bees than you can cope with flying round lost. Don't do it. You can do it in winter but not at this time of the year half a mile is nothing for a bee. A mile and a half maybe.
Thank you. Looks like I will have to move them 3+ miles away first.
 
Can you move them temporarily to somewhere further away and then to you new site ? The usual wisdom is 3 feet or 3 miles but, in reality, if there is forage local to the new site and some obstructions in between you can get away with a bit less than 3 miles but... as JBM - 0.5 miles and the odds are that you will get bees returning to the original location and making a nuisance of themselves if there is no hive for them to return to.
Yes that could be an option. I have access to another site just under 3 miles away.
 
The year I started beekeeping, I had the hive near my detached garage, but it proved to be too close to the neighbours (they didn't mind as much as I did). So I moved the hive a quarter mile up the road to an allotment.

At the time, I was also told about the 3 ft/3 mile rule, but a local beekeeper also told me it was actually 3 ft/3 miles/3 days. I blocked the entrance of the hive at night, and moved it 1/4 mile up the road. After 3 days, I went up in the evening, unblocked it, and piled a bundle of freshly uprooted ferns and grass in front of the entrance. The intention is not to completely block the entrance, but to make the bees puzzle out how to leave. They were out flyng the next morning, but it took a few days for the ferns to turn brown and blow away completely.

I did get some bees coming back to the original site, about a cup or so (is there standard for measuring loose bees?). The first night, I put an upturned icecream container where the hive used to be, and the homeless bees went inside. These were returned to the new location. After that, there was about 1/2 cup of bees that insisted on coming back, but these dwindled and disappeared within a week.

I've done this a couple of times since with caught swarms, and it's always worked. I'll be doing it again this weekend.
 
The year I started beekeeping, I had the hive near my detached garage, but it proved to be too close to the neighbours (they didn't mind as much as I did). So I moved the hive a quarter mile up the road to an allotment.

At the time, I was also told about the 3 ft/3 mile rule, but a local beekeeper also told me it was actually 3 ft/3 miles/3 days. I blocked the entrance of the hive at night, and moved it 1/4 mile up the road. After 3 days, I went up in the evening, unblocked it, and piled a bundle of freshly uprooted ferns and grass in front of the entrance. The intention is not to completely block the entrance, but to make the bees puzzle out how to leave. They were out flyng the next morning, but it took a few days for the ferns to turn brown and blow away completely.

I did get some bees coming back to the original site, about a cup or so (is there standard for measuring loose bees?). The first night, I put an upturned icecream container where the hive used to be, and the homeless bees went inside. These were returned to the new location. After that, there was about 1/2 cup of bees that insisted on coming back, but these dwindled and disappeared within a week.

I've done this a couple of times since with caught swarms, and it's always worked. I'll be doing it again this weekend.
And in this warm weather blocking them in for three days will almost certainly kill them, even a few hours on a hot day with all the bees confined to quarters can have disastrous results. It's something that I would not recommend ...and as you found out - not totally successful anyway.
 
Two of the colonies are in Poly nucs so it would be too hot to close them up. I am thinking to bring them back to my garden which is just under 3 miles from the new site. The bees should survive but I may not when my wife finds out my plan.
 
Can you move them temporarily to somewhere further away and then to you new site ? The usual wisdom is 3 feet or 3 miles but, in reality, if there is forage local to the new site and some obstructions in between you can get away with a bit less than 3 miles but... as JBM - 0.5 miles and the odds are that you will get bees returning to the original location and making a nuisance of themselves if there is no hive for them to return to.
Hello - quick question. I am planning to bring the colonies to my garden that is almost 3 miles from their current site. How long should I keep them in the garden before moving to the new site?
 
Hello - quick question. I am planning to bring the colonies to my garden that is almost 3 miles from their current site. How long should I keep them in the garden before moving to the new site?
A couple of weeks should be fine
 

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