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Rosti 

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My single hive is currently in the back garden and will be moving to a new home on a local farm (but only about 2 miles away). Rape and Bean crops plus extensive SSI / wild foul reserve / pastures / riverside. They have been quiet for many weeks now so could probably be moved the 2 miles at any time without orientating back to the original site.
They are on brood& 1/2 with some fondant on top. Not been seen out much but there is a reassuring buzz from the hive on warmer days. Oxalic treatment took place between Xmas & new year and they were fine then. New site is set-up and ready.

Whats the best time to move them? A warmer day now or wait until Rape about to come in with even warmer days?

I only have the one hive at the moment, will build up this year but their survival is more important than a rape honey crop. Forum advice much appreciated. Regards, Rosti
 

Finman 

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Whats the best time to move them? A warmer day now or wait until Rape about to come in with even warmer days?

It is better to keep them now on home yard. You need not drive to hives.
But it depends what else pastures you have there before rape and what you have at home.
 
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I agree, leave them where they are. They will find the rape but you would get a better crop if you wanted to move them closer. However, if you are not after a big crop of fast setting honey then leaving them where they are should get you a more mixed honey with more flavour than rape on its own as some of the foragers will find other flowers closer and not concentrate just on the rape. You will also risk more chance of swarming on the rape.

If you do plonk them down next to the rape in flower I would be very surprised if many got lost and tried to get back to their old location but when you bring them back home you will need to move them to an intemediate location, otherwise they may fly back to the rape field and then try to find the hive beside the field.

Probably more trouble than it's worth. Leave them at home!
 
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Finman 

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I advice to move hives on rape field. It is good to see what is to get a big yield.

I have never hear that don't try achve big yield if bees are going to swarm.
In my country bees swarm best when they do not get any yield.

When I put hives on rape. I put often under brood box extra box where bees can store nectar.
 

Norm 

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The OP suggests the apiary site 2 miles away is to become their permanent home if I read it correctly. If this is the case, it would be a good idea to move them sooner rather than later so they can re-orient to their new surroundings without the memory of their former home.
 

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2 miles is far enough that they do not return home. If some tens or hundreds return, that is nothing.
 

Norm 

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2 miles is far enough that they do not return home. If some tens or hundreds return, that is nothing.
I presume Finnish miles are similar to Swedish miles which are a much greater distance than an Englsih mile. In Finland you would be correct in your statement, in England you would not be.
 

Finman 

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I presume Finnish miles are similar to Swedish miles which are a much greater distance than an Englsih mile. In Finland you would be correct in your statement, in England you would not be.
Höpö höpö. English mile is in Finland about 1,5 km. (1 609,344 m)
We do not use Finnish miles or Swedish miles.


We have reindeer piss - however in use in Lapland.

It is 200 years when we were under coverment of Sweden and we used Swedish mile.

I Finland Svenska mil är kallad peninkulma. (10 km)

***********

I have 2 miles distance ( 3km) to my mating yeard and bees do not return home when I move hives.


.
 
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Norm 

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Well to be honest I have never moved bees 2 miles so I cannot say that you are wrong from my own experience. Conventional wisdom though suggests that bees, during the normal flying season, will range further than 1 mile and hence crossover into a previously known territory and then return to the previous position. Danger being that you loose many foragers. However as you are the self appointed bee guru, I bow to your obvious better knowledge. :p

I have 2 miles distance ( 3km) to my mating yeard and bees do not return home when I move hives.
 

Finman 

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Well to be honest I have never moved bees 2 miles so I cannot say that you are wrong from my own experience. Conventional wisdom though suggests that bees,

Yes, recommendation is 5 km. The mid point is 2,5 km between sites.

But if you move bees, and they return home, you may give them a nuc where they settle dow. Will not loose any foragers.

If I move in the middle of day hives, and foragers are out, I may leave on box for them for home, and then in the evening I move that one box on the hive.

When I have moved bees 25 years to the distance of 3-4 km. only twice has happened that I have put a nuc box in old site to gather foragers.
 

Rosti 

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Thanks all. Norm is right, I must move them, the farm will be their new home. Given the move will and must happen the question is when to move rather than if.

I have a Nuc box spare that can act as a re-catch in the garden but any losses through return will have to be accepted what ever the outcome.

PS could not get hold of a Reindeer to pace it out, neighbours Jack Russell was the best option available. It had a piss 8 times - but there were a few lamp posts in the high street. Does that make the distance OK?
 

oliver90owner 

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Rosti,

Doubt if you lose any at this time of year. Just pick a cold period (not too difficult at the moment) and move them quietly. Additionally, stand something just in front of the entrance for the first flights at the new location, so they re-orientate, and there should be les than no problem at all. As long as there is forage at the new site - a certainty by the description of it - they should be as well there as at home. You did say wild fowl? so plenty of willow and marginal water plants?

Just consider carefully where you are going to site them at the farm. I prefer to be moving hives absolutely adjacent to the crop, to maximise foraging, and then moving them at least 3 miles to the next crop (beans) unless lucky enough to get adjacent fields of successive crops.

Regards, RAB
 

admin 

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Rab how do you get on with the beans?
I have a crop next to a field of OSR and am thinking of leaving the hives this year with some extracted combs from the OSR to see how they get on.

The Beans seemed to start just as the rape finished last year.
 

oliver90owner 

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Admin,

Usually only a short wait or even overlap, so no real problem. If I can find some spring rape, which is not so common (unless there has been flooding or other serious winter woes for the farmers), that will give me a huge extra flow, just about when most needed to keep the bees busy. I have more sites available to me than hives, so I am lucky and have a good choice whatever the crop rotation.

Biggest problem is not leaving too much OSR on the hives, so have, in the past, spun out high moisture honey to feed elsewhere, rather than risk wholesale aggravation with it. But any crystallised honey in frames goes back on a garden colony later in the year - they get cleaned up steadily.

I would likely need to modify my approach to these problems if I had more hives.

Regards, RAB
 

Rosti 

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Thanks again, a move it is on the next quiet / warm day.

Distance Calculator is great Admin! The bad news is 1.7m as the bee flies, I am relying on the cold weather and the girls having a poor memory I think.

To answer your questions o90o.
Yes, beans following the rape crop on the same farm, significant acreages of both. Rape fields in direct contact with hives, bean fields run parallel circa 200m.
The site also 'sides' on to the SSI I mentioned, huge flooded areas during winter , residual wet lands in summer plus two main water courses within 300m. Willow I can confirm, marginal plants unclear - only secured the location Oct last year.
 
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