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waitakerebees

Moving Hives - Help

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Hey All, 

 

Having just bought our first house, and with settlement looming - The main thing now on my mind is moving my hives and how best to go about it! 

 

Having never done this before, it's rather a daunting prospect, complicated slightly by the fact that the current location of them is on a slight hill in our current back section. This isn't an issue most of the year, but in winter becomes a bit muddy and therefore not ideal for lugging around anything awkward or heavy - and due to the incline, the closest I could get a trailer is about 25 metres away. 

 

I also had an some unexpected personal stuff happen earlier in the year, which meant I didn't get to wintering down one of the hives and it's currently four boxes high and I imagine very, very heavy. Not ideal. 

 

So, my questions to you are; 

 

1) Has anyone moved hives in winter, on a tricky/steep terrain - and if so, any tips?

 

2) Would there be anyone out in West Auckland that might provide a service to move them for me? Obviously paid.

 

It's only two hives. As mentioned, one four boxes high, the other just two. Located in Laingholm and moving to Oratia. Have either van/closed rear box ute or trailer available.   

 

Thanks so much,

Waitak Bees.        

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I don't think you've got any choice but to suit up well & carry  the things box by box to your vehicle after they've gone to bed. You'll have crawlers everywhere but c'est la vie.

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6 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I don't think you've got any choice but to suit up well & carry  the things box by box to your vehicle after they've gone to bed. You'll have crawlers everywhere but c'est la vie.

Hey, thanks for the reply yesbut.  So, I was told that I shouldn't separate the boxes at all whilst moving them, but in fact to strap the hive together as tightly as possibly, close the entrance and find a way to move the entire thing. Hence my concern. If it were okay on the colony to separate the boxes, that certainly would make life easier... but concerned about the numbers at this time of year as is. Thoughts?    

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1 minute ago, waitakerebees said:

find a way to move the entire thing.

That's either doable or it isnt. I agree desirable to not break hive apart but if it makes the move easier to achieve it'll be messy but not the end of the world. The bees will survive providing the Q doesn't get squashed. The chances of that ?????

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12 minutes ago, yesbut said:

That's either doable or it isnt. I agree desirable to not break hive apart but if it makes the move easier to achieve it'll be messy but not the end of the world. The bees will survive providing the Q doesn't get squashed. The chances of that ?????

 

I suspect moving the entire thing is going to be a struggle, aside from constructing some kind of setup where there's poles strapped to the lid and we have a few people on either side with the poles on shoulders or similar. Ahhh it's all sounding such fun. 

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Strap em up. Close em up. Slide them down the muddy hill on a rope. 

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6 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

Strap em up. Close em up. Slide them down the muddy hill on a rope. 

 

Sadly they have to go UP the hill! Just to make it that much more fun.   ?

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If you haven’t wintered the hives down, were they treated for mites? If not the empty Boxs shouldn’t be too heavy ?

otherwise smoke them down off the two top Boxs, reduce to two then drag them out. Don’t forget your afb check. 

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As per @ Janice. Remove the surplus supers. The bees are almost certainly clustered in the lower boxes at this time of year. DO smoke them. Winter bees REALLY dislike disruption. Strap the hives together using tie downs and stuff the entrances with foam rubber shoved into old pantyhose. Sounds weird but it is a really neat trick taught to be by a fantastic elderly lady beekeeper. Keeps the bees in but allows for air movement. Buy a $24 sack barrow from Bunnings and using two people, one to push and one to help stabilise the load, move your hives uphill and onto your vehicle. Move at night or early morning. Once at their new site let them have a little breather before opening so they don't just all rush out angrily. 

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What about just asking the new people or landlord there if you can leave the hives until it drys out ?? 

Otherwise just wait for a nice day and take those two extra top boxes off.  

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I have a couple of hives to move soon and I am putting escape boards on under the honey box before I move them too.

 

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Lots of good advice there for you, it sounds like fun! Hard to go past a tricky hive move for a spot of entertaining recreation. I second working the tall hive a few days before you move it and take off surplus boxes. Then obtain 2 x em lock straps and strap them up tight, load onto the sack truck and off you go with the entrance closed. Good times

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21 minutes ago, Harlan Cox said:

Hard to go past a tricky hive move for a spot of entertaining recreation.

see if you can talk one of your mates into video-ing the operation so we can all critique your efforts.? They will probably be more prepared to film than to carry the hive.

I would suggest paying a little more for the sack barrow- they have better tyres and can carry more weight. It will be well used  for the rest of the move too, and next season for your honey supers.

 

Good luck with the move- and be safe

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tautoko all the advice on using sack trolley....strap up hive tight,block entrance and then strap to trolley...this has been my main hive mover for the past season!

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5 hours ago, waitakerebees said:

 

Sadly they have to go UP the hill! Just to make it that much more fun.   ?

 

Is it possible to access the site via a neighbouring property, if there is one? 

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6 hours ago, waitakerebees said:

 

1) Has anyone moved hives in winter, on a tricky/steep terrain - and if so, any tips?

 

2) Would there be anyone out in West Auckland that might provide a service to move them for me? Obviously paid.

 

It's only two hives. As mentioned, one four boxes high, the other just two. Located in Laingholm and moving to Oratia. Have either van/closed rear box ute or trailer available.   

 


    

re question 1) yep. Strap them up tight with emlok or similar. Close them up. Get a decent torch. Find someone you trust to help. Move the smaller one first. Do a trial run with a stack of empty boxes the same height as the biggest hive to figure out how well you can see and move together.

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36 minutes ago, Phil46 said:

tautoko all the advice on using sack trolley....strap up hive tight,block entrance and then strap to trolley...this has been my main hive mover for the past season!

Your sites must be really flat. I’ve tried using them but found it too hard. If I’m on my own I just strap them up not too tight and put my hand under the strap to lift them. I can move doubles on my own like this and as you’ve seen I’m not very tall. 

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A couple are @nikki watts but 

some aren't as well..and one is a push/pull trolley thru a stock trail...I rather that than try driving my ute thru,then end up stuck...plus its good exrvise,as you know I ain't a small guy?

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Phil46 said:

A couple are @nikki watts but 

some aren't as well..and one is a push/pull trolley thru a stock trail...I rather that than try driving my ute thru,then end up stuck...plus its good exrvise,as you know I ain't a small guy?

 

 

??

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There’s nothing you can’t achieve with ratchet straps, sack barrow and duck tape. And a couple of cold drinks for your team of mates. 

 

My my experience has taught me that even with two straps, the can still twist. If you have a challenging site I’d be tempted to tape each super to the barrow too. 

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8 hours ago, waitakerebees said:

 

Sadly they have to go UP the hill! Just to make it that much more fun.   ?

I would block them at night and move them during daylight .

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I would say only about mechanics, won't go deeper into smoking, shuffling, reducing, etc.. due to I don't know Your climate well.

When I was moving hives in early spring, late winter and could reach apiary only on foot - we used a simple wooden ladder ( the lightest you can get obviously). We place 2 single box hives and carried uphill over 500 meters, I presume it would be similar with one on two storeys.. 

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16 hours ago, Janice said:

Go through the taller hive and reduce it to two boxes somehow - take off honey frames and  empty frames and get all the brood together in two boxes.  Then you won't break your back getting the hive up the hill.  You can move a strapped-up two-box hive on a sack barrow. 

 

Thanks Goran. That was my thought too. An experienced beekeeper friend thought it probably was a bit late to winter the hive down and they'll need all the stores they have in there - but suggested taking the top two boxes off just for the move - using two lids and hives mats on either end of top two boxes, and reassembling at the new site.  

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6 hours ago, Goran said:

I would say only about mechanics, won't go deeper into smoking, shuffling, reducing, etc.. due to I don't know Your climate well.

When I was moving hives in early spring, late winter and could reach apiary only on foot - we used a simple wooden ladder ( the lightest you can get obviously). We place 2 single box hives and carried uphill over 500 meters, I presume it would be similar with one on two storeys.. 

 

Another good suggestion re ladder. Thank you!  

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