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Moving a tbh

 
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antman74
New Bee


Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Location: London England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Moving a tbh Reply with quote

Hi there, this is my first foray into the world of beekeeping and I am in need of help/ advice.
I am in the process of acquiring two tbh's from a beekeeper who is moving house and unable to take the hives to the new property. The current property adjoins the golf course where I work and I am planning to transfer them onto it.
The opportunity has arisen sooner than I may have wished as I have no experience, just a very keen willingness to find out more.
My questions are...is this time of year ok to move the bees? And if so do I need to move them 3+ kms from the original site?
I read on another page that the distance should not be a problem as long as I camouflage the entrance a little so as to differentiate it from before? Is this correct?
Any advice will be gratefully appreciated.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to the forum

Moving them at this time of year should not be too much of a problem as long as you are strong (there should be a good weight of honey in the hive) and careful, in that the weight of honey will make the comb more prone to break. It is best not to inspect the colony for a week or so before you move it, so that there will hopefully be enough brace comb to support it.

It is not so much about camouflaging the entrance, as obstructing it, to make the bees re orientate. I would place a loose twist of grass in the entrance hole as well as a branch across it, so that the bees have to fight their way out. Do check that they have managed to remove it by the close of play on their first day though.

Moving them on an evening, when they have all finished flying for the day is pretty important too and some people place a bait hive at the original location to catch any foragers that return there during the first couple of days and empty them back into the hive each evening.

How far are you planning to move them? Do you know how old the colonies are? Older is better when moving a TBH as the comb is more stable when it has had a few seasons of brood.

Good luck with them and keep us posted on how you get on.

Best wishes

Barbara
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antman74
New Bee


Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Location: London England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Barbara, thanks very much for such a swift response and good advice, much appreciated.
The colonies are fairly well established, having been on the property for a few years and as the beekeeper rarely harvested the honey they have quite a good supply, although as you say they shall be on the heavy side.
I have a number of sites in mind where I could move them to, ranging from 60 meters to 2 miles away.
Simple question but quite important..can I simply place the tbh into the back of a car with the holes covered and slowly, carefully drive to the site? I have suitable clothing of course, two lots as it happens for lifting and moving them.
Can I carry them to a site if suitably close?
Thanks
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1563
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again

You will probably need to remove the legs to get them in a car and you will of course need help. Better if you know someone who has a pick up or a van or trailer, but just from the point of view that it is easier to lift them into a larger vehicle. I often transport bees in the car, so that in itself is not an issue. Most people wrap the hive in a sheet or old duvet cover, just to prevent any strays escaping.

It's best to cover the entrance with mesh if the hive has a solid floor, just so that the bees can breath, but if it has a mesh floor, then just plug the entrance but make sure it is sitting chocked up on something in the car, so that air can get in through the mesh.

Yes, if you are feeling strong and have a willing helper and the distance is not too far, carrying it is an option (I would attach long rails to either side which protrude front and back, so you can carry it like a stretcher, or possibly wheeling it on a wheelbarrow, if you can make a level platform to sit it on and strap it down securely... but you will need to ensure it is evenly balanced so it doesn't keep trying to tip. Perhaps even a combination of the barrow at one end and someone at the front using the rails to keep it steady. Beekeeping is one of those hobbies that can stretch your inventiveness and resourcefulness, but it generates a primitive sense of achievement when you have success..... even in something as simple(or not) as moving a hive! A bit like building a raft or a shelter from rope and tarpaulin and a few bits of timber, it's a basic challenge of inventiveness that our modern day lives rarely allow us to enjoy.

Hope it goes smoothly for you and the bees.

Good luck

Barbara
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antman74
New Bee


Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Location: London England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant and thanks very much
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would strongly recommend standing them on a flatbed trailer for transport rather than attempting to remove legs and lift them into a car and reversing the procedure at the other end. I think the chances of comb breakage would be greatly reduced by doing so, as long as the hives are mounted across the direction of travel and you drive slowly and carefully...
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antman74
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Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Location: London England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes ok sounds like a good idea. Thanks very much
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