Three Tips For Moving A Beehive Locally
Most people who move from one home to another only have to worry about ensuring all of their belongings make it onto the moving truck in one piece. If you're a beekeeper, however, you also need to safely relocate your honey-making friends. Most moving companies won't transport live animals, even if it's only across town, so here's what you need to know about relocating your bees to another local home.
Pack Them at the Right Time
Bee moving is a time-sensitive endeavor. You have to pack them up and transport them at the right time; otherwise, you risk leaving some behind or losing some en route. The best time to pack the bees is in evening the day before the move and after all the bees have returned to the colony or in the early morning hours the day of the move and before the bees leave the colony to go flower foraging. This will ensure you don't leave anyone behind.
Secure the Hive
To avoid losing any bees during the trip to your new home, it's important to secure the hive as much as possible. The vehicle's movement will agitate the bees, and the last thing you want is the bees escaping the hive to voice their displeasure while you're on the road. At the same time, you don't want to close the hive up too tightly as air needs to circulate inside to help keep the bees cool.
First, cover the hive's main entrance with a piece of mesh hardwire cloth. The squares should be big enough to allow air to flow through, but still small enough to keep the bees from escaping the hive. Next, inspect the hive for other holes and cover them with mesh, plastic wrap, or duct tape.
Smoke the bees as necessary to keep them calm during the process.
If your hive uses lids, secure them using ratchet straps rather than tape, so you can quickly open them if you need to. It's best to place the beehives in an open area—such as the back of a truck—to maximize air flow. Only do this, though, if it's cool outside as the bees may overheat if it's too hot. Otherwise, transport them inside a cool car or van. Just be sure to turn on the fan so the air circulates.
Make sure to wedge the containers in an area of the vehicle where they won't get jostled much during the trip. Constant shifting will agitate the bees, and you'll have to deal with some angry and stressed out honey makers when you arrive at your final destination.
To reorient the bees to their new location, either leave them in the hive for 72 hours (only when the weather is cool) or place an object in front of the entrance. Either option will force the bees to reorient themselves to their current location.
For more information about moving beehives or assistance with relocating your other stuff, contact residential movers.