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Loubee 

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I want to move my hives no more than about 500m from their present site. When is the best time to do this to avoid having to move them more than 5 miles, wait 6 weeks, do the hokey cokey, etc. Thanks.
 

admin 

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500 Metres James ?
Will the flyers not return to the old site ?

I would leave it until the winter then move them when they are clustered.
 

RoseCottage 

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I agree with admin...if pods wait till they are in for winter and then gently move them.
Sam
 

JamesB 

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I agree with admin...if pods wait till they are in for winter and then gently move them.
Sam
I moved one of mine about 200 miles and the bees didnt return,

waited to the evening like i said, the majority of the hive were inside when i closed them up, so why would they return to the old site?

you may get a few stragglers but i always thought when you shut them up and moved them, the bees flew out onced opened up and they returned to the point they flew from (back to the hive)

If however you moved the hive in the middle the day when the majority were foraging, the foragers would return to the point they left the hive , generally forming a cluster on the ground where the hive once was.
 

JamesB 

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There is a beekeeping rule of 3 miles when moving hives, 200 miles is alot different to 500 metres.
Ok maybe i didnt explain,

I seem to have a misunderstanding here, i believe if you close the hive up with the coloney inside within the hive say in the evening

move the hive

When the bees are in the new position you can reopen, then the bees return to the hive
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If you move the hive more than say 3 or more feet while they (being the bees) are out working then they will return to the same point they flew from
and form a lovely cluster around the ground where the hive once stood
-
when i used the example of 200miles that was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek like training bees to be homing bees etc
 
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As I mentioned in another post on the same theme,,

brought nuc home in evening, left it shut up.

Opened nuc in morning, bees come out, fly about, suss out where they are, fly off and then come back to nuc.

Later in day transfered bees to observation hive, moved hive indoors, leaving entrance closed overnight.

Opened hive next morning. Bees slowly wake up and leave hive, making sure they know where to come back to by flying about and looking at scenery.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I dont think bees go back to where they lived yesterday otherwise when you buy a nuc and bring it home, when you opened the nuc they'd fly off and never come back.....
 

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James, you need to move them 3 miles or more because if you don't the foragers will return to the original site - they don't "forget" the location overnight.

That is why if you want to move them a short distance in the summer you need to move them more than 3 miles , wait 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 weeks (depending on which beekeeper you ask) for the foragers with the old location in their head to die off and then move them back to the new location.
 

Silly Bee 

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I agree ^^^^


If you don't move them far enough, they will find their old flight lines and head back to the old site.


3 miles away and they will map out new ones.
 

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Utterly agree......3 ft or 3 miles. Being shut up or having the intervention of night doesn't make any difference.
 

JamesB 

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I stand correected - must have been lucky then that a hive i moved 20 meters ish from the original position overnight behaved as though nothing happened and continued flying to and from the hive;

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Moving a Beehive
Sometimes you may want to move your bees to a different location - for example if you are moving house or rearranging the garden. The simple rule for moving bees is

"You should move a beehive fewer than three feet or over three miles"

The reason for this is quite simple: Bees learn their local area by sight very accurately. If you move the hive over three feet, the flying bees will fly back to the original site, not find the hive and certainly die.

However, if you move the hive over three miles - the bees will not recognise any of the surrounding area. They will learn their new location. If you move the hive less than three miles - there is a chance that the bees will recognise their old flight area and attempt to return to their old hive position.

How to move the hive
The best time to move the hive is in winter because the bees are not flying. However, if you have to, you can move the bees in flying season and here are some simple rules:

1. Wait till dusk when all the bees are in the colony.
2. Block the entrance with your entrance block.
3. Make sure that the lid and cover boards are secure.
4. Move the hive to its new location - fewer than three feet or over three miles.
5. Once in their new location, wait fifteen minutes for the bees to settle and then open the entrance block.
6. Stuff some grass in the entrance to slow the bees exiting the hive. This will make them realise that there location has changed. The grass will wilt overtime and fall away from the entrance.
 
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Utterly agree......3 ft or 3 miles. Being shut up or having the intervention of night doesn't make any difference.
any difference to what?
 
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If you move the hive over three feet, the flying bees will fly back to the original site, not find the hive and certainly die.
Crap.
 

RoseCottage 

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I love these threads as they always degenerate so nicely. I moved mine 1 mile in mid summer and did so for 2 hives. No, and I will repeat that for slow readers, NO problems at all ( I posted my whole experience on here for others to see). I got the sane warnings and some suggestions that I may be a little irresponsible.

Now I am not a beekeeping genius so for me to succeed there must have been some other influence.

I guess that I did the right basic steps with the exception of 3ft or 3 miles.

I also note that there are quite a few people who have done this kind of move and been just fine. Are we all the lucky few? Of-course you may encounter issues but I suggest if you are sensible you should be able to.mitigate the risks easily enough.


In my circumstances it was clearly ok. A few bees, less than 600, returned to the original location. At the time my hives were in full flow and went on tk produce 165lbs of honey. Both are strong and ready for winter.

i think each move is unique and if done sensitively should present no problem. I placed a 6-8ft leafy branch in-front of each hive to force the girls to re-orientate. Each was about 3ft away from the hive and then leaning resting against the roof.

Worked a treat.

So the lesson is nothing is written in stone. If you consider your situation and plan for option a and have a backup option b you should be fine.

I would think a move in winter when there are very few foragers in the colony, when no girls are flying, and with a branch of two outside for a week or so should be sensible. As always just be as gentle as possible to the girls (not always easy) - they prefer slow to fast in all things.

All the best,
Sam
 
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fight fight fight fight
My post was not made with intent to be rude to the poster because it appeared that what was posted was copied/pasted from a book whatever...

I turned a nuc to face a different direction and even then the bees were outside the hive fanning to tell the others where the door was...
 
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Rosti 

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I want to move my hives no more than about 500m from their present site. When is the best time to do this to avoid having to move them more than 5 miles, wait 6 weeks, do the hokey cokey, etc. Thanks.
While the children are having their little spat and are certain to be sent to bed without tea....

I did this a little further than 500m, perhaps 1.5Km but well within the 3 miles and no probs (I did not have an alternative +3m site option). Timing is everything. I over wintered in the original position, waited until early March, blocked them up, I picked a wet, but warmish day, moved them made sure there was fondant on top, left them blocked for 3 days and no probs at all. No returnees. No dead colony. Oh, wasted the fondant though, they didn't touch it, just went straight onto their early protein feed and 1:2 syrup late March! bee-smillie

My advice. If you can afford to wait, let winter disorientate them and the weather naturally restrict their flight radius.

.... and please put Dishmop on the naughty step for 30mins :reddevil:
 

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