Moving Hives

[music] Hi there. We’re here tonight to
move some beehives. Going to talk through
a few different methods of
doing that. One of them is moving
hives in a way that you can do that
during daylight hours. We would close them
up at night when they were all home,
but we may end up needing to move them
from a distant location and keep them contained
so that during daylight hours they can’t fly. So one way of
doing that is to use a screen
bottom board. This is our screen
bottom board here that provides the
entrance and you can see the screen
in here. If we go around to the
back of this colony we can see that it’s open in
this area right here, so this gives us a good
amount of ventilation. We just saw a wax moth
run in there. That’s cool, tripping
around there. So this is going to give
us some ventilation and moving bees, there
is a big danger of them over heating, so we
need to provide lots of ventilation, so we either
leave the entrances wide open, or if we
close them up we make sure they have
good flow through ventilation, so we are
going to have air going through here and when we
open up the top of the hive we will have air flow
right up through the top. We’ve got a screen on a
frame here, so that that air can move right
through the top and give them good
ventilation. We’re moving a hive that’s
got a lot of bees in it, so we’ve got
two empty supers and the full brood
chamber here. We’ve screwed this frame
down and we’ve strapped it in place to keep these
supers from shifting around and the bottom
board is screwed on, so everything is fixed
together in a way that means if things shift apart while
we are moving them bees are going to be getting out
and that will be a problem. So to keep the
bees from flying out what we do is puff some
smoke at the entrance here and we are going to
shove a little bit of this foam rod into
the upper entrance. Cut that off and that blocks
off that upper entrance and then we are going to
put some foam rod, it’s called backing rod,
we’ll put that in the entrance here and that will
keep the bees from going in and out and we
basically seal up the hive as far as bee access
is concerned, but they will have good
ventilation through the screen at the back and
the screen up at the top. So we talked about the
foam rod here, this backing rod,
kind of hard to get, we’ve got it through
log home building supply manufacturers,
but it’s an inch and an eighth rod foam. A screen like this
eight mesh screen is easy to get, any
hardware store has it and it’s a good substitute
for that foam rod. What you do is cut it
to shape or to length and then bend it to shape,
it’s got a bit of a ‘V’ there with two flanges on it and
then we just shove that in the entrance, push that in into
place there. It closes off the entrance
but gives them ventilation. Even without a screen
bottom board, if you have that and a screen up
at the top that would be adequate ventilation,
but the problem with these push in screens like
that it’s really tough to seal bees in, but that is
one alternative there. Now we are going to go
back and we are going to move some hives that
won’t be screened in at all, we’ll just load them up
on the back of the truck If we do that when it is
dark and we unload them when it is dark if they
need to get our of the hive and ventilate they can
do that they can pile up in front of the hive, but they
never overheat if they have full access to their
entrance, but this is just a way of doing it if you
need to move them inside a vehicle or if you
need to move them where daylight hours are
involved with that move. If you are moving them
inside a vehicle be very cautious of how you
do that and make sure you have a smoker with
you, make sure you have all your beekeeping
equipment and make sure the hive is secured in a
way that it can’t come apart and it can’t move
around in your vehicle. OK, we’ll load up the
truck in a moment here. We are going to load these
beehives up on our truck. You can see they have
an entrance down at the bottom, these are the
double nucleus colonies that you might have seen
in a video we did on “Double Nucleus Colonies.” We are moving these out
into a new apiary, setting up a new apiary and
we’ve got about 25 of these nucs to move out. The first thing we do is
puff some smoke at the entrances and these have
an entrance on either side, so I’ll puff a little bit
of smoke there. You can see they have a
super on them and that’s why we have these
straps on them, these straps are called kevlock
straps you can get them from Mann Lake Bee Supply,
fantastic straps, but we’ve got that on
to hold the super in place and the bottom
board is screwed on, so it can’t come off and
everything is secure, that is really important when
you are moving beehives. So we give them a little bit
of smoke and then we set the smoker. Dave’s going to smoke the
next hive so it’s ready to go when we go to pick
up the hive and then I’d like to talk a little bit about
the ergonomics of picking up and
moving beehives. They are heavy, they are
awkward and we are going to do it two people
on a hive, so we need to communicate as we are
doing this, so we are both going the same directions. Going two different
directions with a beehive doesn’t work out too well
take my word on that one. OK, so we are going
to get a hand underneath towards the front
of the hive. Dave’s using his left hand,
I’m using my right hand, then we are going to get
a hand in the hand hold at the back of the hive
and we are going to tip up. Pretty heavy. Alright so we are using
our legs, not our back we’ll stand up and we’re
going to go straight over towards the truck. Because we are holding
it at the front of the hive and the back you can see
how we can tip the hive. If we each had a hand
underneath the bottom board we wouldn’t be
able to tip it like that to access the level
of the truck. So we’ll set that up
like that, Dave’s going to go and
smoke the next beehive while I position the
hive on the truck. Slide that over to the
middle and then we’ll get another beehive. Again hand near the front,
the other hand in the handle on the back so
we can tip it. If you are loading a truck
you want to have any hives that are higher
towards the middle so that if you are tying
it down or strapping it down you can secure it
very well. We’ll get that there
and move on to the next. We’ll just carry on,
we smoke a few hives ahead and then
pick up the hives. They are good and heavy,
this is great. We try to put entrances
towards entrances. A little different with
these because they have an entrance on
either side, but if we load them with entrances
towards entrances, if the bees come out to
ventilate they are all on one end of the box and
they are not on this end and that end and all
over the sides. When you are picking
them up to unload them if the bees are all
over the place then they are all over you too
and that is obviously not desirable. So we’ll just you can keep
that in mind if you are loading hives that have
an entrance only on one side. Hi guys. So we finally got to our
new yard and we are ready to start unloading
our beehives here. So we’ll just kind of go
over a couple of steps to prepare to get the
hives off the truck and just a couple things you
can kind of do to prepare yourself and keep yourself
as safe as possible. So the first thing to kind
of remember is when you are unloading and that’s
really the bees have kind of already been
picked up vibrated and moved, so that is when
they are more likely going to be traveling around
and looking for you, so protection is kinda
more important on the latter part of the whole
move, so at this point when we really get
moving these we might gear up depending
on how the bees are, but that is really when
you want your protection. So they are on the trucks
and the first thing to do when you are starting to
unload them, these bees have traveled a little
bit and they are starting to wander out now that
the truck has stopped, so we actually the first
thing we do is start a smoker and then puff
smoke down the alley ways, the corridors we’ve kind
of created where the bees will be. On your full sized hives
like Paul talked earlier you’re going to have your
entrances faced together so that’s where you are
going to want to puff your smoke, but again like
you saw earlier on these double nucs they have
entrances on both sides so we are just going
to go along, puff smoke on all the
little corridors, just getting all those bees
back into their entrance and we might do
that two or three times. Now a lot of this is going
to depend on the temperature you are
moving these bees in, so the warmer and the
more humid it is the more patient you are going to
have to be with your bees and the more protection
you are more likely going to have
the hotter it is. So of course we decided
to do this on one of the hottest nights and we’ll
see kind of how that goes. The only other thing to
notice is we did keep these lids on when we
were moving them and that kind of forces
and air gap in between the colonies, so they are
not slammed up against each other and
that is really important just for ventilation, so we
don’t have these bees closed in and they are
allowed to kind of crawl out as need be just so
they have a little bit of air. So I think that’s all the
little pointers for moving them, the only
last one is the truck or the car if you have that. We have it off here just so
that we can talk and do our little bit of filming
here, but normally when we come to a yard and
we are ready to unload we actually keep the
vehicle on and the reason for that is just the
vibration effect of the vehicle tends to keep
the bees a lot calmer, so when we actually get
going we will turn the truck back on just again to
kind of do everything we can to keep them calm
and keep ourselves safe so then we can
move them, and we’ll get going at
that right now. We are ready to unload
here as you can see I’ve got a red head lamp
on that gives us the ability to see. Bees can’t see the red
light so they won’t come out after us. We don’t use white light
or they will be all over us so we are going to pick
them up just the same way we did to load them,
they’ve already been smoked, they are nice and
calm and we are walking over into our brand
new bee yard. So there they are in
their new home. They will reorient,
come morning they will fly out
slowly reorient to the landmarks and
there is an alfalfa field coming into bloom just
on the other side here. So good night girls
and good luck.


  1. These videos are great. I've been keeping bees for about 10 years and I love watching how your operation works. I'm in north central California. Thanks for your time to film ect.

  2. awesome videos!! question: If I am doing a split and need to move new split 2 miles away. How many days do I have to wait to bring the bees back to the original location?? thanks!!–stan

  3. Ha Paul I am buying a house and I cant move my hives till july and it is very hot here at that time do u have any sugestions for me this video is great just like all of them your videos are wonderful and I very much enjoy watching them and learning from them thanks again oh I do not know if it will be night or day time that I will be moving them

  4. If I were standing there with my phone light on, I would get lit up myself. Bees are phototropic .

  5. Thank you to everyone for watching and supporting our videos! If you have any questions about our videos, please check out our list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on our website, which can be found at .

  6. Bees forager on moon light nights as well I FOUND best way to move bees. Is when you 1st catch em MOVE THEM TO THERE FINAL PLACE! is the best way Have less stragglers Still have to put a box out at the old location for the stragglers old hive and new swarm, cause there more bees coming from there old location or out in the fields. Then move them to the new location IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT

  7. Hi, thank you for the video. I just dont understand, that while unloading you mention, that the bees might go after you, and you need to protect yourself, but aren't you closing up the entrances while transporting? I usually fully close up the entrance in the evening so that they can't get out, then I move them to the required location, wait till the first sun comes out and open up the hive entrance. Isn't this what you do too?

  8. Moving beehives is a pain. But, sometimes we have to do it. Just be sure anyone moving them does it safely for themselves and others around them when driving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *