In this blog, I describe how to move a hive of bees on your own.
I begin by going to my apiary just after sunrise when all of the bees are still in the hive. Alternatively, you could carry out this job after sunset.
The first task is to ensure that the colony of bees is securely contained within their hive.
I insert a strip of foam into the entrance to block it up, and this is done with the aid of a hive tool. The long pointy-end of this instrument is ideal for this job.. You can purchase these strips from beekeeping equipment suppliers.
Do not inspect the hive. You want to maintain the bees good work of propolising and combing-up the hive, so that the chances of the frames moving in transit is minimised.
Secondly, remove the winter feeder from the hive, and ensure the crown-board is bee tight. This can be done by using a porter bee escape. Alternatively, keep the winter feeder on, but ensure the feeder is empty before strapping up.
Next, strap-up the hive up from all sides. I use a cross configuration with ratchet straps to do this. This ensures that the hive parts don’t become separated during transit.
I am carrying this hive in early spring, and it is relatively light. If you are moving a hive during the summer months it might be heavier, and you should consider getting some help.
When you move the hive, the sides of the frames need to be facing the direction of travel. This way the frames are less prone to moving about.
Conversely, if the comb in the frames is facing the direction of travel, it is more likely that they will rock to and fro during transit, and this risks harming the bees.
So be mindful of the orientation of the frames, when you put the hive into the car.
I take the hives to their new location.
Once in situ I waste no time in removing the foam entrance block, and out come the bees.
I just need to tidy-up the ratchet straps before I go.
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