Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Split Hive Returns to the Yard

When is the best time to move a hive?

At night.

This event, moving the new split nuc hive back to the bee yard, was a clandestine operation.  So, there's no night time/flash photos.  I didn't want to attract the neighbours' attention.  I had put the hive in my back yard for two weeks because I needed an alternate location so the workers wouldn't all fly back to their original hive after the split.

[Photo - next to the new split hive is an empty hive.  it never hurts to have an extra hive around.]

During daylight I prepared.  I was using a hive top feeder because they need to build comb on the deep--six frames and a super.  By taking that off early it gave the bees inside a chance to leave and return to the hive.

Next I sealed the hive parts together, the bottom board, the deep and medium super.  I'm a big fan of duct tape.

At 9:30 p.m. when it was pretty dark I took a piece of window screening and pressed it into the entrance to keep the bees inside.

Then my nephew and I lifted the hive and set it on the back of the truck.

The advice given here is to place the hive entrance facing to to the road behind so that wind from driving won't blow inside the hive.  Also by placing this way the frames will be parallel with the direction of the vehicle so that when the truck sways in motion the frames rock end to end instead of possibly slamming together when you go over bumps in the road.

I had prepared the yard ahead, setting up a platform with cement blocks, a skid and a large piece of plywood on top.

I had flashlights on hand so we could see and I put in a different entrance reducer so the bees would hopefully notice the change and orient before leaving.  I also put some greenery right in front of the entrance to slow their exit down.

The bees were calm and quiet and the exchange went well.

The next day I returned and gave them back the hive top feeder and removed the duct tape.  The bees were flying well and orienting.

A week later the hive was ready for another super.

A note re our weather - The next day I was driving about 20 kms north of London and came through pea sized hail.  But back home they only had rain.
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