Moving Hives Back to the Outyard

This weekend was time to move the bees from my dad's house over to the outyard at our friend Tom's farm.

The bees produce lots more honey at Tom's house in town then they do out in the woods.

In the picture below, 4 hives are ready tightly wrapped with ratchet straps so none of the boxes come apart while we're carrying them.

In the picture below, the hives have been moved from their hive stands, and are sitting side by side on the trailer, ready to be moved across town.

The weather was cool, and most of the bees were clustering inside the hive, except for the one or two guard bees who ventured out and wanted to let us know they didn't approve of the hives being moved.

A quick 10 minutes across town and we arrived at Tom's farm. 

We had cut the grass under the hives with a week whacker the week prior and also applied GuardStar drench to the ground under and around the hives in an effort to control SHB.

These bees sit in full sun, and the bees at my house sit in full shade, and they both seem to have the same amount of SHB...way too many.

We'll give the bees a week to settle in their new location and then give them an inspection.

Comments For This Post: (4) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   April 11, 2016, 9:28 am

So how did you move them from the original hive stand to the trailer?  We just sold our house and I'll be needing to move my hives soon so I'm going to have to figure out the best way.  Maybe if I took two 2x4's and added some cross supports I could use it like a medical litter?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   April 11, 2016, 9:44 am

Last year we simply banded the boxes together using the green ratchet straps you can see in the pictures above and carried them, one person on each side.

This year we banded each hive together again using green ratchet straps, but then took two 1"x2"x4' pine boards and slipped them against the top hive body, between the green ratchet webbing and the hive body, and slid them up against the under side of the telescoping cover. You can see the boards in the first picture above, one of the boards is dangling there haphazardly because no one is actively holding it up in the picture, the other is snugly against the bottom of the telescoping cover.

This allowed the boards to extend a out a foot in front and behind the hive, essentially becoming handles.

The lifting of the hive was done by the handles lifting the telescoping cover, which was attached to the rest of the hive by ratcheting strap.

With one person in front, and one person in back of the hive, two people can easily carry the hive, similar to using a wheelbarrow.

Once a hive was moved, simply slide out the boards, and slide them into place (between webbing/box, and under the telescoping cover) of the next hive to be carried.

It worked well for us when the hives were mildly heavy in weight. This technique may not work in mid summer when the hives are at their normal (heavy) weight though. :)

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   April 11, 2016, 9:48 am

Almost forgot, we screened the hives at dusk, and moved them just before dark to make sure we had all the foragers returned.

Do check the screen for bends or gaps, or else the person who's carrying the hive in the front may be in for a surprise when the guards find an exit and let you know they're not happy with you moving the hive.

One of our screens had buckled, and allowed for bees to escape, so we duct-taped over the whole landing board as shown in the pictures above. They hives have screened bottom boards, plenty of ventilation and it was only 50* outside, so we weren't worried about taping their entrance shut for the move.

Mark Martin says...
Date:   April 12, 2016, 1:27 pm

OK, I see it now.

Yeah, if the boards were long enough I could see that you could easily take strides and not have to hobble step to keep from hitting the boxes as you walk.

Moving them at dusk/night/low temps seems like the best time to do so!

My hives are a good 50 yards behind my pole barn.  So unless I had a trailer or something I could move by hand, I'd be walking those hives all the way up to the barn.  I'm guessing they shouldn't be too heavy if I move them within the next month.

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