The Beekeeper’s Guide To Moving Bees To A Different Location

Posted by Dave Meyer on February 13th, 2020

Beekeepers have to exercise utmost care and caution while shifting their beloved bees to a different location. Relocation might become necessary if you are shifting to a new house, remodeling your backyard, or just want to transfer your bees to a better, more comfortable location.

If you are a beginner and recently bought honey bee hives that were on sale, then this blog is for you. Before you begin relocation, it’s important to take their daily schedule and habits into account. If you end up disturbing them when they like to lie low and move them to a completely unfamiliar territory, you might face a number of issues in the long run. That is why it is critical that you go about the relocation process methodically so that both you and your bees don’t get hurt.

Time the move well

Dusk is the best time for the relocation of bees because that’s when they return to their colonies. This tactic will ensure that you don’t leave any behind while making the move.

The best season for bee relocation is winter because they are unlikely to fly out of their hives. But this should be done carefully as bees tend to clump together to avoid freezing. Transporting them roughly might cause them to fall from the cluster and die from the cold.

Even if you have just bought honey bee hives for sale and want to transport them to your home, then make sure that you keep these things in mind.

Location is critical

Bees have a great sense of direction and memorize their surroundings very easily. So if the new location is less than three feet away from their original location, then they are very likely to find their way back. Upon not finding their hive there, they are going to die. However, if the distance is less than three feet, then they might just stumble upon the new location.

If you are moving your bees further away, then it should be further than three miles so that the location appears completely new to them. In such a case, they will try to acquaint them with the new home rather than trying to return.

Different distance, different strategy

If the new location is close to the old one, then give the bees some time to acclimatize themselves. Take the help of others to transfer the hives manually. Before starting, make sure that the lids and frames are completely shut. Recheck your protective gear as well. In fact, protective gear is a must and you should purchase it along with the honey bee hives that were on sale.

Traveling long distances? Have bee stands to ensure the stability of the hives inside the vehicle. Drive slowly so that the bees don’t feel the impact. In addition to this, fill the vehicle’s gas tank so that you don’t have to make multiple stops.

After arriving, wait at least 15-20 minutes before you start moving them. Remove the entrance block and have some grass in the hive’s entrance so that the swarm doesn’t immediately try to get out because they might end up injuring themselves. The grass will ensure that they exit slowly and in a phased manner.

These are just some things you can keep in mind to ensure the safety of your bees while relocating them. For your safety, don’t forget to put on your beekeeping gear.

Dave Meyer

About the Author

Dave Meyer
Joined: October 15th, 2019
Articles Posted: 6

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