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Moved hives a few metres/flying bees


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Morning,

 

Last night at dusk when all the flying bees were in, i moved both of my hives about 4 meters to a new spot that has more of the sun during the day given winter is almost upon us.

 

This morning as i expected i found flying bees flying around and landing on what they can where the old hives position was, maybe a few hundred, i watched the hives and some are making it back there.

 

Will the rest eventually work it out if they look to there left or will they just perish from exhaustion?

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You'll probably find the hive nearest the old location will have picked up a few extra bees at the expense of the other.

 

Now they're moved, I'd leave them moved. If there is an imbalance in numbers you can exchange positions around midday to even them up.

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I've found it varies on the hive. Most of my hives I can generally move 4 - 5 m easily, by closing them for a day (they have ventilated bases) and then obstructing the entrance with a branch or similar to force them to reorient. Had to do this for some earthworks near them. But I have one hive that won't. It's 1m a day or nothing. Basically lost a lot of bees discovering that.

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rule of thumb... 1 metre or 1 kilometer, nothing inbetween. But as Frazz says, if there is nothing left in the old spot most of them will figure it out

 

In the UK the 'rule of thumb' is less than 3 feet or more than 3 miles. However it does depend on the forage available and the distance the bees are flying at the time.

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That's often quoted as the rule and I always thought the same but I have found the reality is mostly different as long as the hives are within a reasonable distance like from one side of the back yard to the other.

It wasn't until I needed to do it one season that I found it was very doable the bees will find the hive but it's important not to leave anything in the old place.

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I moved a hive around 1km and had around 300 fly back there... Wasn't overly good as it was one of my hives at a mates place on trial as he wanted a hive and his wife didn't.... when she already wasn't keen that wasn't a overly good thing to happen ;-)

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Ha nope it wouldn't have been good!

I bet you weren't very popular!

I moved some nucs from home and then back around three weeks later and noticed that there were bees hanging around a couple of places that had previously had nucs so even after 3 weeks the bees that I brought back recognised their old spot.

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A couple of months back now I had to move an apiary of 20 hives about 80 metres. The move took place when dark and all the normal things were done eg covering up the hive entrance with vegetation etc at the new site . I decided to leave a two box hive at the original site to soak up anything left. When I checked it a few days later it was brimming with bees and got another box on top. I then moved it to the new site, where even now it is pumping like a Spring hive. The short moves are difficult. The same also applies with making up nucs and leaving them on the same site as the hives you tax them from, sometimes, not always and despite the same methods, the bees just want to go back to the original hive...

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Making up nucs and leaving them on the same site will always lose foragers back to the original hives. Also if you leave boxes on site after moving hives a short distance you will get all the foragers returning to those boxes no matter what time of day or night you shift them.

 

It's important to leave nothing in the place the hives were, no rocks no bits of wood no tyres.

 

if you make up nucs and leave them on site you have to shake a heap of bees into them and also include frames of emerging brood. That way the Nuc will have enough young bees to keep the brood warm after all the foragers have gone back home.

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I moved a hive 5 kilometres away to mate.

When I brought it back 4 weeks later I put it in a spot 5 metres away from the original place in the paddock .

Quite a few bees circled around the original location for a few days after I put it back in my paddock .

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If the bees are not foraging very far, then a move of 1 km is generally ok. Stocking nucs in the same apiary can be problematic as sometimes nearly ALL the bees revert to 'home' leaving un-covered brood frames. They can also be robbed by the donor colony too.

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