To move big hives alone

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Queen Bee
Nov 8, 2008
Reaction score
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
I move hives alone.

Nowadays I move them in day light. Evening or too early morning movement is too hard to me. I prefer to sleep normally.
If you move hive in the morning or in day light, bees may fly on the field. You just put a small nuc to collect homeless bees.

Here is my biggest hive one year. I splitted it so that I may lift pieces to sedan carry. Hive had 70 kg honey.
When I move hives onto rape fiels, hives have often 30-40 kg uncapped honey in supers.

On backround you see mating nuc.

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If frames move during transport, you may loose the queen.

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Pile heavy honey super on carry and seal them.
Wooden boxes are 40 years old. Poly boxes are 1-20 years old

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I put foundations in white boxes (medium size).
In this stage I may take capped honey away when I shake bees in destination from combs.

Whole procedure demands calm bees.

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When i move hives here in uk if the supers are allready heavy with honey,i de-super and put empty supers on hive to move them, i used to move hives early in morning,which i prefer as you are not working against the light,but often in mornings large ammounts of bee's hang from the entrance,and are not easy to get back in,smoke, spray with water mist,by the time i have done this to many it is light and to late,so now most moving is done in evening as bee's have stopped flying,they get the rest of the night to settle in there new place. Some others i know do not block entrance,they load on lorry and net over the top,i do not like this system at all. Heavy supers that i take off go onto hives that i'm not moving.
I move at night.

At lunchtime I go to hives and place 2 straps around the hives and ratchet down.

At dusk I return and if foragers have returned I place foam in entrance and gaffa tape accross for safety because I carry the hives inside the car.

I then increase tension on ratchet straps by one to two notches and lift into car.

After being pushed on roundabouts a couple of times I now always use a bees in transit sign in the back.

I dont bother with travel screens if I am going under 5 miles beacuse the rear window goes down and the sun is setting.

On arrival at site(I often have to use car headlights or torch) I remove straps and remove foam in entrance,I dont bother placing anything in front of hive to orientate the bees.

I have found after half a dozen moves it becomes second nature with a system in place.

Nice pics Finman,do you only buy poly now?
Push me on a roundabout and i reverse into them.It slows them down well.
i move them at night(evenings) after i have finished work.i try to move in the spring when the hives are lighter.i sneak up on them piece of pipe insulation
foam in the entrance,tape round just to be sure(had bees in the car once,
never again!)4 ratchet straps .i don`t use ventilation boards,this island
is quite small.inside the car,and off,5 minutes.
place on small pallet(don`t use stands,too wobblier)open up,job done.
thinking about small trailer like in your photos finman

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