Finest Solution to Transfer a Beehive


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Hopefully, you spend a little bit of time eager about the place your new beehives will sit. However, even when you suppose you might have discovered the right spot – chances are high you’ll face transferring bees sooner or later. Figuring out the way to transfer a beehive the right method is a crucial ability for beekeepers. Whether or not that you must relocate a hive resulting from private causes or for the nice of the colony, there are some suggestions that you must know first.

Beekeeper working to move a beehive to a new location image.

Beehives don’t take up quite a lot of bodily area – you may set down a number of in a small lot. Nevertheless, a very good or unhealthy location could make a giant distinction within the well being of your bees and the trouble required to take care of them. That is why bee yard arrange is a crucial activity.

Why Shifting a Beehive Is a Large Deal

New beekeepers are at all times cautioned concerning the points that may come up with bee relocation. A few of these cautionary tales could seem a bit excessive.

No, you received’t needed kill your hive when you transfer it improperly. Nevertheless, you may critically damage the colony and unfastened some essential subject bees or foragers.

However, there are occasions when there may be simply no different choice and the duty should be finished. Hopefully, it won’t be an emergency and you’ll at the least have just a few days to plan.

The Honey Bee Thoughts Map

So, why is transferring the bee bins a difficulty? It has do to with the best way honey bees are capable of finding their method house – utilizing a sort of GPS.

We all know that honey bees navigate utilizing the placement of the solar. (They will do it even when it’s cloudy? How cool is that?). 

The magnetic fields of the earth additionally play a task in bee navigation. And now, we’re studying that bees use landmarks to type thoughts maps”.

The easy truth is that wholesome bees know the place the hive is. Fascinating! However there’s a down-side to the navigation expertise of the honey bee.

It’s a tremendous system, however in nature bees don’t usually have their house moved whereas they’re away. Once we do this – it causes issues.

If the beekeeper strikes the hive what we’d think about a brief distance away – among the bees have bother discovering the hive. 

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Even these contained in the hive could fly out and away and fail to reorient to the brand new location.

Several hives on stands in apiary with arrow to show short distance move.

Steps for Shifting Your Hive

After rounding up a few robust associates, your hive will be relocated to a brand new spot utilizing the following tips.

  1. Plan to transfer the hive late within the day – simply at nightfall is greatest – ready for the final stragglers. Now, the foragers are again contained in the colony. You’ll not be dropping bees which might be out within the subject.

    Bees don’t typically fly at evening. However don’t let your beekeeping good friend “goad you” into being the one holding the flashlight.

  2. Shut up the entrance of the beehive entrance with a mesh, display screen wire or some sort of breathable materials. Disturbed bees will crawl out of the entrance of the hive and sting.

    Particularly throughout summer season, honey bees can overheat contained in the colony-even at evening. You do not need to reach on the new location with a field of useless bees.

  3. Safe the hive with some sort of strapping. Don’t rely on propolis or bee glue holding it collectively. Having hive components come unstacked throughout transport doesn’t make the bees completely happy.
  4. Elevate the secured field into the again of a truck or automotive and journey to the brand new (or short-term location). Be light with the bees – particularly if transferring in chilly climate.
  5. On the new location – unload the hive and set it on a hive stand or comparable base. Place some limbs or partial obstructions in entrance of the hive entrance. This helps them type a brand new thoughts map.
  6. Gently take away the doorway closure (display screen and so on) and stroll away. Depart the bees alone for just a few days to regulate and relax.

Relocating a Beehive to a Close by Spot

If that you must transfer your beehive a really quick distance, you must have few issues. A few ft (2-3 ft ) to the left, proper, again or ahead is just not a giant deal.

Returning foragers could expertise a little bit of confusion. However, they may use their sense of odor to seek out their sisters close by.

As extra of them discover their method house – they may fan on the hive entrance (releasing pheromones)- to assist others discover the best way to the doorway.

Due to the best way bees find their house, transferring hives a number of ft (greater than 4 – 5 ft) to the correct or left can lead to extra bee confusion.

Even that quick distance may cause some drifting of bees different close by colonies. They could turn out to be “misplaced” and hold returning to the unique location. Nevertheless, this downside typically resolves itself inside an hour or so.

This case also can happen when relocating captured swarms a brief distance. A small proportion of the bees stored going again to the swarm entice space! It’s maddening.. LOL

Forcing Bees to Reorient

Anytime that you just transfer a colony of bees to a close-by location, place some small tree limbs or branches in entrance of the hive for just a few days.

Foraging bees leaving the hive discover the change and “hopefully” re-orient to the brand new hive location. This has labored very properly for me for brief strikes. It’s not at all times 100% profitable.

Some could also be unable to seek out their house and perish however it does assist scale back the variety of misplaced and confused bees.

This identical technique can assist whenever you seize a swarm close to the bee yard and place it in a hive.

Once more, assist in serving to the bees reorient by putting an impediment in entrance of the doorway. This may very well be a leafy department or comparable. It’s short-term and solely there to make the bees suppose – “hey one thing is completely different right here”.

Beehives loaded on trailer to move to new crop image.

Shifting Hives a Lengthy Distance

Surprisingly, transferring bees a farther distance is definitely the best factor to do. That is why so many consultants advocate to maneuver the hive a few miles away after which again to the placement you want.

This noticeable change of location forces the honey bee “thoughts map” to reset. First, the bees reorient to the brand new hive location (maybe at a associates home) and benefit from the sources there for just a few days.

Then, when then are returned – they once more reset to the brand new hive location at your property. This may increasingly look like quite a lot of confusion however bee colonies are very adaptable.

It’s believed this double reset is just not as disturbing as dropping foragers. Nevertheless, not everybody has the time or property obtainable to do that.

Mid-Distance Hive Relocation

Essentially the most widespread mistake beekeepers make includes transferring a colony greater than a brief distance however not too far method.

As superb because it sounds, transferring a beehive an intermittent distance will be tougher than lengthy distance relocation.

Let’s say, that you must relocate your bees to a spot 50 ft away? You wouldn’t have the chance to take them miles away and convey them again. On this case, the easiest way to maneuver them with out bee loss is to take action very slowly.

Transfer your hive in small increments (2 ft at a time) as soon as per week till you attain your vacation spot. I do know that is time consuming however it’s a method to keep away from misplaced bees.

I had a beekeeping good friend who did this by putting his hive on an previous play wagon – I’d advocate a sturdy backyard cart or a small trailer.

Every week he pulled the hive just a little farther alongside its vacation spot. It seemed humorous however it labored! If you don’t want to implement the “wagon plan”, it’s best to relocate the colony by transferring it far-off after which bringing the bees again house. 

Beehive strapped down with ratchet straps prior to relocating.

Methods to Transport Bees When Relocating

Beehives are heavy and tough to carry. Shifting full sized honey producing colonies by hand is just not one thing you wish to do alone. It’s a good time to enlist some robust associates.

Bodily lifting the hives is one a part of the method when transferring a beehive. However truthfully, that’s the simple half. Coping with the dwelling occupants inside – properly, that’s one other matter. 

A useful useful resource to have is a hive transferring internet. I used one for years when capturing swarms or transporting package deal bees house (they at all times had just a few unfastened bees hitching a journey.) It is useful when you transport bees contained in the automotive!

A attribute of honey bees that at all times amazed me was the tendency of the bees to remain within the hive whereas transferring. 

So long as my hive sits on the again of the truck or rack of the ATV with the motor operating, the bees keep inside. However, you don’t wish to flip off the motor till you’re able to take care of the bees.

In fact, most beekeepers who transfer a beehive wouldn’t have nets. That’s okay. However, you do must safe the hive elements along with ratchet straps or comparable. The very last thing that you must occur is hive tops or backside boards coming off throughout transport.

And, most beekeepers will wish to shut the doorway of the hive-but not air-tight. This may be completed with nearly something: crumpled newspaper, gray packing foam (typically present in digital bins), a rolled strip of screened wire. Use just a little duct tape to carry it in if you want. 

When transferring hives throughout scorching climate, we’d like to concentrate on the necessity for beehive air flow

In scorching climate a colony can overheat in a short while. On this state of affairs, folded display screen or a bought transferring display screen is the best choice to shut the hive entrance.

Bees scenting at front of recently moved hive.

Security Precautions

It ought to come as no shock that transferring bins with 1000’s of stinging bugs does pose a little bit of a danger. The very best factor to do is to shut up the hive entrance (when potential) with display screen or some barrier to maintain bees inside.

Additionally, make sure you put on your beekeeping gloves and different protecting put on. Keep away from stinging conditions with correct planning. If the hive is being place behind a pickup – ensure that it’s tied down and won’t slide out!

Keep away from Shifting Beehives When Potential

The very best recommendation for a brand new beekeeper is to decide on the greatest hive location to start with. Don’t place hives too near your own home.

Nevertheless, conditions change and beekeepers discover themselves needing to maneuver bees at occasions. Maybe, you want to maneuver your hives since you are transferring to a brand new house.

Or, perhaps you’re having an issue with a bear visiting your apiary and your hives are in peril. Sure, an electrical fence for bears may assist however it’s exhausting to begin a decided skilled bear.

One more reason for transferring bees is that you just simply want one in all them (or a couple of) was in a unique spot. With correct timing and planning, you may transfer you beehive to a brand new spot with out an excessive amount of stress. 


When is the perfect time to maneuver a hive?

Beehives will be moved nearly anytime of the yr. That is why business beekeepers are in a position to transport 1000’s of hives for crop pollination

The very best time of day to maneuver a beehive is after darkish. A lot of the foragers may have returned to the hive and the temperatures are cooler.

Can you progress a beehive in Winter?

Winter is just not a nasty time to maneuver a colony. On chilly days, the bees are clustered inside. Shut the doorway and strap the hive components collectively earlier than transferring.

Don’t deal with the hive roughly simply since you suppose the bees received’t reply. Tough dealing with may cause the cluster to interrupt aside leading to bee deaths. Maybe, even your queen bee !

Do you have to shut up a beehive after transferring for just a few days?

It’s not needed to shut up the hive entrance for a number of days after relocation of a hive.

However, some beekeepers select to take action and it ought to do no hurt if temperatures will not be scorching, the hive has good air flow and meals sources inside.

Remaining Ideas

Maintaining bees with success is determined by creating an understanding of bee life. Failure to take action hurts the bees and the beekeeper. Bee hive relocation requires some thought and planning-when you hope to keep away from dropping quite a lot of bees.



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