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Moving hives a short distance

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Somersetdrone 

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Hi,
I need to move my 3-4 metres or so to allow building workers access to a wall for a few days. Unfortunately it can't wait. I'm aware of the 3m or 3km rule - but is it possible to move them a couple of feet each day or so until they are out of harm's way? Thanks...
 

drex 

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Yes you can, up to three feet every couple of days. Best way to do it.
 

bingevader 

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We caught a swarm in a nuc last summer and having left it to establish for some weeks, then 'walked' it to the hive it was going to be housed in.
Another swarm took residence in that hive, so we 'walked' it to another! :D
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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which way are you moving them? if they are being moved backwards, then you can move them a lot further in one go.
If it's the bees buzzing around that is the issue you could just put a travelling screen on them and keep them shut in whilst the builders are there
 

beekny 

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I've moved hives much shorter than 3 miles but much farther than 3 meter in the past, losing very few bees.

I have moved a hive 70 meters from a neighbor's garden to mine, where the original hive location was easily seen several times a day.
I closed and moved the hive as twilight began and closed them in., *and placed a leafy branch a half meter in front of the hive so that the bees would reorient when they came out*.
I placed a nuc at the original location placed a partially drawn frame from it at the original location.
The next evening, I did the same with the nuc, placing it right next to the hive.

The third evening there were only a couple dozen disoriented bees at the original location, and there was no noticeable loss of population in the original hive.

If you move the hove when most of the workers are in it, and trigger orientation at the new location by putting an obstacle in the flight path of departing bees a meter or less from the entrance ( the closer the better, but not immediately in front of the entrance, as there will be a LOT of bees orienting on the hive front the next morning).


This practice has saved me a lot of time and work in the time since I learned of this practice from Michael Palmer.
 

Moobee 

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I've moved hives much shorter than 3 miles but much farther than 3 meter in the past, losing very few bees.

I have moved a hive 70 meters from a neighbor's garden to mine, where the original hive location was easily seen several times a day.
I closed and moved the hive as twilight began and closed them in., *and placed a leafy branch a half meter in front of the hive so that the bees would reorient when they came out*.
I placed a nuc at the original location placed a partially drawn frame from it at the original location.
The next evening, I did the same with the nuc, placing it right next to the hive.

The third evening there were only a couple dozen disoriented bees at the original location, and there was no noticeable loss of population in the original hive.

If you move the hove when most of the workers are in it, and trigger orientation at the new location by putting an obstacle in the flight path of departing bees a meter or less from the entrance ( the closer the better, but not immediately in front of the entrance, as there will be a LOT of bees orienting on the hive front the next morning).


This practice has saved me a lot of time and work in the time since I learned of this practice from Michael Palmer.
Has this always worked? I may need to move my hive to an out apiary in the spring and it's about 2 miles away so didn't want to move it twice just to get it there. Anyone else tried this method?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Has this always worked? I may need to move my hive to an out apiary in the spring and it's about 2 miles away so didn't want to move it twice just to get it there. Anyone else tried this method?
The three mile rule is just a guide, not set in stone. it all depends on a variety of factors -time of year, availability of forage (at both the old and new locations) and surrounding terrain.
for example, in the spring, the bees may not venture as far in search of forage so the overlap between foraging circles will be reduced. if there's plenty of good forage close to the hive, the same applies.
In general, two miles is fine - without the magic twigs (be aware they don't always work anyway)
 

beekny 

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Has this always worked? I may need to move my hive to an out apiary in the spring and it's about 2 miles away so didn't want to move it twice just to get it there. Anyone else tried this method?
It always worked reliably, but not perfectly.
Occasionally I would move a hive, and find it seemed the population dwindled as a result.
If it was low enough to need correction, I would shake some bees into my homemade bee vacuum box ( which has a screened bottom), put it on the hive a few days so that they smelled like the natives of that hive, shake them in and move on.

I found that my loss in time and hassle using the three mile rule was more expensive than any loss from drifting.
 

Flowermagpie 

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I had a similar problem this summer, builders on the land behind my hives needed to build the boundary wall but the vibrations from their digger meant they were all getting stung. The owner of the field where my hives are was more than happy for me to move my hives anywhere else in the field and I had nowhere I could move five hives over three miles for a few weeks and then move them back. I don’t know how many times I tried to explain the three feet/three mile “rule” to the builders and my field owner 😂
Ultimately I made a plan, explained to the builders it would take a couple of weeks and it would be done in stages.

I moved two hives at a time, preparing them during the day, closing them in the evening, moving them on a sack barrow across the field to their preprepared new locations (I use slabs and then concrete blocks to stand my hives on). Once safely on their slabs I put twigs/small branches in front to the entrances and then opened the entrances.

A week later the same thing with the next two, then the last hive and then a nuc which had come about as a result of preparing the hives to move.

My reasoning: any foragers returning to the original location would find the remaining hives and hopefully be allowed in because they came with gifts of honey or pollen! The last hive I moved was the calmest and the Nuc collected any stragglers. I lost very few bees, they were soon back filling the supers and the builders were no longer getting stung.

A lot of work but it saved the field owner getting complaints which ultimately means I keep my lovely location for my hives.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes that would work as the lost bees have a neighbouring hive to beg their way into. The problem arises when you try to move them all at once
 

Antipodes 

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I moved some hives only a few hundred meters recently. I put a queenless hive with a queen cell, just a day from emerging, in their stead, to catch any stragglers. Grass in entrances of moved hives but left just a tiny hole in one end for just a few bees to get out very slowly. I can't see any issues days later.
 

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