moving hives

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House Bee
Apr 16, 2009
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uk, Abingdon
Hive Type
Number of Hives
what is the best time to move a hive during a day ? Probably not when they are flying, it means then early in the morning or late in the evening? anything special to draw attention?

Best to move very early in the morning before they start to fly. If you do it late evening you can run out of light if you take longer than planned. I used sponge to block the entrances and 2 ratchet straps per hive on the same side. This stops the hive from twisting and leaving the bees out. If you are moving them a fair distance then you can fit screens over the top of the hive rather than the roof and crown board to give them plenty of ventilation.
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I actually prefer moving hives in the night,gives them time to come out in there own good time in the morning at the new site and re-oriantate themselves. Only use one standard hive strap per hive,and depending on the size of the colony,temperature,and distance to be moved a travelling screen.
I always use three straps - 2 one way and the third at right angles to the first two. Belt and braces, me!

If possible I close them up at night and move them in the morning (time not so important!). OMFs for ventilation is more than adequate for most moves. I usually jam in the entrance block and cover it all with duct tape. Belt and braces again. A car full of bees can be a pain!

A top screen is good if a hot day and a long way to go. One can spray them with water or weak sugary water to calm/cool them.

I have left a hive in the car overnight before now, but it must be in the shade the following morning!

Regards, RAB
Be very aware of the conditions before you shut in.

Once upon a time I shut in an apiary planing on two runs that night.

Of the later lot 8 were dead, suffocated as I had relied on open floors to be sufficient, which they had for years before.

Unknown to me there was a flow on, this was post OSR, and with the excitement of being shut in the super combs slumped and the nectar came down and soaked enough bees to block the floor and so they suffocated.

On the up side that site gave me tones of honey post OSR and before moving to Heather.

Painful way to find out though. NEED to know what is going on. Before....

Thanks for replays, situation at the moment: flying, haven't done any inspection yet, only put frame feeders in on Saturday. Will chuck them out before loading on the trailer. The plan is to move them next weekend and it will be only two miles trip. all of them have OMFs.

You might need to move them more than 2 miles otherwise some of them might find their way back.
3 feet or 3 miles. If you need to move 'em 2 miles, take the hives 5 miles away leave for a week or so and then move them back 3.

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