The warm fall in the prairies and BC have allowed for lots of time to feed colonies and do treatments. As we get ready to overwinter, it's important to make sure you have your fall supplies on hand, your hive is heavy enough and you have completed required treatments. It's also a good idea to ensure your hive is in a location that provides shelter from the cold NW winds.
So, what do you do if you need to move your hive now? Maybe you are moving to a new location or you only need to move it a few feet across your yard. Before you do anything, you need to understand how bees orientate themselves.
You can move a hive in one day if it's over 1 mile away. The bees will be fine and reorient themselves. If you are doing a smaller move, less than 1 mile, you will need to take some extra steps to move your hive successfully.
MOVING TIPS FOR UNDER 1 MILE
Move in the evening (or early morning). You need all the bees to be in the hive and not out foraging, so you will need to do it in the evening when they are inside for the night.
Seal the entrance. You can seal the entrance briefly to make sure you don't lose any while moving. You can use paper, leaves or a mesh to cover the entrance.
Use a dolly. The hive will be heavy, so you will need a friend to help or a dolly to help move it to a new location. Make sure you secure it well so it doesn't tip over!
Move six feet per day. If you are planning to move your hive a few feet or under a mile, you will have to do it slowly over a few days or a week. Ideally, you should only move your hive about a six feet a day. This will give your colony a chance to reorient themselves to their new location.
Move again in 24 hours. Bees need to learn the path back to their new hive location. You will need to let them fly for 24 hours before you can move them again. Since moving a short distance is closer to the original location, they will still want to go back to the old location. This is why you need to give them time to realize their hive has moved and remember their new address.
You may also place an obstacle such as a branch across the entrance of the hive to increase how fast the bees realize something is different about their home. This will force them to investigate their hive before leaving and reorient to their new location more quickly.
Need supplies or have questions? Call or email us, and our customer service team will be happy to help! Our customer service is open 8 AM-5 PM Monday to Friday for live chat. Beekeeping courses will be online soon!
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