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Moving colony from one hive to another?

Posted: May 1st, 2018, 1:10 pm
by bcsennett
Good afternoon! First time beekeeper here. I'm trying to think ahead of the game and I believe I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I built my langstroth beehive and mounted it on a post about 1 meter off the ground to reduce the risk of my dogs being stung. Seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. I'm hearing that my colony population will explode this summer and to add supers as the population grows. However, with the hive being 1 meter off the ground, it limits how many supers/brood boxes i can add. I built another hive without a post and would like to set it on cinder blocks next to the original hive and move the frames from the original hive to the new, lower hive. The bees have been in this hive for 2 weeks now, and figured that if i'm going to do something like this, it would probably be better to do it now before they have honey and more of a reason to sting. Thoughts?

Re: Moving colony from one hive to another?

Posted: May 1st, 2018, 7:50 pm
by Allen Dick
If there are no other hives nearby like within a few yards, you can probably do as you like.

Exactly what happens will depend on the flight history, flow conditions, colony condition, time of day, weather, and more, but in general, bees will find their hive if it is within a few feet no problem as long as the boxes on the post are removed. Otherwise some may return to the old location. If there is nothing there, they will circle and find their home. Putting a garbage bag over the post will mask any scent and also disguise it.

In the very unusual case where some accumulate on the post anyhow and are still there at sundown, just brush them into a box and dump them into their proper home.

As with anything to do with bees, what seems like a simple question never is. Nonetheless, this is the best I can answer without being there and in any case, you are unlikely to do any harm.