Need advice on moving hives

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Neville Aponte, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Neville Aponte

    Neville Aponte Active Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    I have been keeping bees for about 10 years now, but never had to move them. Now I have to move them about 1 hours drive from here. I need advice how to go about it. Can I duct tape the various components together and sreen in the bottom for ventilation and call it good?
  2. bare

    bare Head Muderator

    May 9, 2002
    Yep, you've got the right idea, although you probably won't need the duct tape, it sure can't hurt. Make sure to tape your lid down tight though. For certain, have some help handy...even this time of year, those things are HEAVY!

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    East TN
    I use a ratchet type strap to hold all of the hive together instead of duct tape. I have a wood frame with wire screen the screws to the entrance.
  4. Bouncenhumble

    Bouncenhumble Active Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    OH., but I have been EVERYWHERE
    I am not too crazy about the duct tape idea. Too easy for the bees to get taped in there also. I know a lot of people who use a ratchet strap, works great, However if you not broken in to check on them in a while they usually have every thing glued down pretty well all by themselves. So I don't use anything most of the time. Just tie them down in the truck and they do quite well. Also take a piece of screen (2" or so and bend it in a v shape you can put it in the bottom opening, the bees get air but can't get out) and I usually put a paper towel in the holes. The next best thing I can tell you is, do it when it is cold and/or dark. If it is cold they can't move any way, if it is dark then all you have to worry about is the crawlers.
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002
    I've moved hives maybe a half dozen times or so....largest number moved is 10 hives.

    1) Prepare the site you are placing the hives ahead of time. Make sure everything is as you need it.

    2) Moving hives is a two handed job. I can lift and move a hive in a pinch but it is so much easier with 2 people.

    3) Prepare the hives for moving the evening before. I prefer strapping the hives rather than leaving them loose. I also moved some hives where we took some wood screws and screwed furring strips up both sides of the hive. We also screwed some pieces of stiff wire mesh across the entrance.

    Screened bottom boards help but not much if the hive is sitting directly on a truck or trailer bed. Screened tops without taping the cover works better. I like to lay down some thin would strips that let the hives sit up a little and help the air flow. This also makes it easier to lift the hives by letting you get your fingers under.

    4) Load the hives in the early morning. I prefer when it is light enough to see without lighting but still before sunrise. This is perfect timing for a one hour travel time. Drive carefully. Frames can swing a bit when you accelerate fast or brake suddenly. Same thing for sharp turns and potholes.

    5) Once you have the bees at the new location, let them sit a spell and settle down. If the weather is warm enough for them to fly, they will come boiling ut when you open the entrance to the hive. If you haven't let them settle down there is a good chance they will be in a stinging mood.

    6) If weather permits, check the hive(s) once the bees have sttled down. Check for any damage to comb or bees (especially the queen). Moving can be rough on bees.

    Hope this helps,