When to move hives?

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Queen Bee
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I want to move my hives forward about 2feet.

When I set them up against a hedge in a field they looked very pretty but I was finding it a pain to have to keep on cutting back the hedge with my petrol strimmer every 2-3 weeks so I could work from behind as well as the side.

When would be the best time to move them forward?

(Dont say ten past three!):toetap05:
 

Bcrazy 

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Hey Admin,

During this cold snap if it were me wanting to move my hives a couple of feet I would do so now.
The majority of bees in the hive at the moment are young winter bees and therefore not inclined to want to 'pop out to phoo' so when the better weather does arrive they wont realise the move has taken place.

Even in summer if I only wanted a couple of feet then I would move them, your not going to lose bees by moving a couple of feet.

Regards;
 

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Thanks Bcrazy,I will move them on a cold day a few weeks before my OA treatment at xmas.
 

iombeeman 

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i would move my bees in early spring,less stress for the bees,less weight for me.
 

Normandie 

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Is there any reason not to move them at this time of year? We inherited our bees and they're in a field about 30 mins drive away. We'd prefer them closer and we have a site for them now just a few minutes away. We'd prefer not to wait till spring but would do what's best for the bees.
 

Lincsbee 

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given the choice i would move hives at this time of year, the hives will be lighter and the bees will be clustered, so you will cause less disturbance.
regards
 

Chris B 

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Do it now but do it gently. Too much shaking and banging and you'll disturb the cluster which won't help them.
 

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Just remember to have them traveling cold way in the car/trailer.
 

Poly Hive 

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Hang on here. How far is thirty minutes?

Two feet is never an issue but it is better in general to move hives when the bees are relatively active.

PH
 

Normandie 

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Just remember to have them traveling cold way in the car/trailer.
Travelling cold way? :confused:

They would be travelling in a trailer as I'd be very nervous about having them in a car with me. However, we can borrow a covered trailer so windchill wouldn't be too bad.

How far is 30 minutes? About 15 kms. And it's hilly and bendy - though the bends can be gently negotiated by driving slowly.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I expect the road is bumpy too. As Poly hive said, you would be better to move them this distance when the bee's are active,ie warmer weather and the bee's not tightly clustered,as any jolts being in a trailer can cause bee's to fall from the cluster never to return. The cold way Admin refers to is having the frames parrallel to the way you are traveling,so if you have to stop quick they would not all slide up in a heap and crush the bee's,athough this is not too likely as they will have stuck things up pretty much,and if they are hoffman frames even less likely.
 
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iombeeman 

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any disturbance to the cluster causes stress,with a strong colony there might not be a problem,but why risk it.
on the other hand if its a matter of life or death for the bees,then move them.
its your call.
i would never move my bees at this time of year.
 

grizzly 

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Thanks ALL.
You have probably saved me from doing damage, i was going to move one of my hives a couple of miles away, this would have involved a car journey of 5-10 minutes, but the final section was on a farm, so lots of bumps and shakes.

With the advice given this wont now happen untill they are all "Active" in early spring.

Regards
Andy
 

MJBee 

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Andy,
Remember the "3 feet or 3 miles" rule. If you move them "a couple of miles" you MAY get some of the foragers returning to the original site. Put a box or nuc of frames on the old site to catch them. Another dodge is to reduce the entrance to half and prop a sheet of glass in front of the opening, the departing foragers bump into the glass and it makes them pause and think "that's different what else has changed" they then reorient them selves and are less likely to return to the wrong location
Regards Mike
 

Normandie 

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I really appreciate the information you've all given me. Thank you. :)

The decision is easy, then - we will not move the bees until a warm day in spring. If we have a few really warm days in February or March - we often do... will it be okay to move them straight away or should I wait a few days to let them "warm up"?

ps: no, the roads aren't bumpy. :D France spends an incredible amount of money maintaining even small commune roads.
 

Finman 

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. 2 feet is nothing to move. You can move them when ever, but I cannot see any advantage to move during winter cluster. If they wat to protect thier hive, they rush out. Best is warm time when they fly normally.
 

Normandie 

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Well, it's been hot and sunny since Saturday so this evening we're going to move our bees. We're a bit nervous because it's the first time we've done this but we're moving them about 10 miles so all should be well. Even so we are planning to do the sheet of glass thing.

One question: we assume we open up the entrance this evening (after moving) so they can exit when they want to in the morning. Is that right?
 

Poly Hive 

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Yes. Have your veil on though as they will rush out.

Have some foam rubber with you as bees are expert escapologists and foam is ideal for stopping them do so.

PH
 

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I love moving bees,it reminds you that you are alive and the Adrenal glands are still working :)
 

grizzly 

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Cant wait to move mine, ive only ever driven with a nuc in the car, so this will be my first full colony move.

Agree with you Admin, im sure the adrenaline will pump profusely.
 

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