How to move a hive any distance

It’s really odd to find something you wrote being used as the main topic of somebody else’s video, especially when you’ve never met or even heard of the person. That’s the internet for you. In this case the videographer is LDSPrepper and, luckily, he found that my technique for moving a hive worked perfectly for him.

He refers to me by name “Rusty” for a while and then devolves into “Ray” which, I guess, is fine. Oh yes, he also refers to me as “he” which I guess is understandable, but it tells me he’s not a regular reader. Gotcha. Anyway, I forgive him because he gave me high marks in Beekeeping Myth Busting 101.

Anyway, here’s his video.

Comments

ScoobyDoBee
Reply

Great job teaching, Ray! :)

Rusty
Reply

Thanks, I think.

Bruce
Reply

“Call me anything you want. Just don’t call me late for dinner.” Good job Ray.

eric : GardenFork.TV
Reply

I can’t tell if you are puzzled or peeved by this, but you shouldn’t be surprised by someone using knowledge they gained from your posts in their own post, be it a ‘video post’.

In the video he credits you several times, and shows your website address in the video, which is great.

(I create DIY and how-to videos, and have video documented my first years of beekeeping, and when I reference someone else’s work, I do the same thing.)

I’m dyslexic with names of people, many people are, and mangle people’s names on a regular basis, so I wouldn’t make a big deal about him getting your name wrong. He’s not a professional broadcaster, just a guy with a video camera and some beehives.

And unless you dig deep into this site, one can’t determine the gender of the author of HoneyBeeSuite easily.

I think your site is great, I’ve learned a lot from you, I’ve posted about it on Twitter and Facebook, even sent you a fan email (never heard back…)

So instead of being puzzled – be flattered! – Mr Prepper just made a great video for you, and you didn’t have to do anything!

And, now I know how to easily move the 3 hives I have to move about 100′! i was going to truck them across town for a week and then bring them back, now I don’t have to. I’ll make a video about moving the hives and credit you with showing me the technique.

Thanks again for all your hard work on the site here, always learning something, Eric.

Rusty
Reply

Now, Eric, you’ve got it all wrong. Like lots of folks, you don’t understand my sometimes dry sense of humor. I am neither puzzled nor peeved, but flattered. If I wasn’t pleased, or if I didn’t like the video, I would not have embedded it. I’m pretty particular about what gets posted.

Mr. Prepper not only did a nice job of demonstrating the technique, he has beautiful hives. I love looking at them. He has a pleasant voice as well and absolutely gorgeous oak leaves.

You don’t have to dig too deep to determine my gender. Lots of folks say I think like a woman (probably not a compliment). And I write about my husband all the time . . . as in the post before this one.

As for fan mail . . . you’ve got me there. I try to answer everything that comes in, although I do better with comments than e-mail. In any case, I’m sorry if I failed to answer. I definitely remember both you and your Twitter-ments.

So take it easy. I was just havin’ fun.

eric : GardenFork.TV
Reply

Good to hear that.

The problem with the web, and comments especially, is that they lack tone a lot of the time, not everyone can tell when it’s humor or when its not.

Maybe you’ll post my video homage to HoneyBeeSuite on ‘moving hives the easy way’; though my hives are a not as shiny & new ;)

Rusty
Reply

Eric,

Maybe I will. Send me a link.

Charlie
Reply

This technique has been around for a while. You’re not the first person to think of this. It’s common knowledge to close up a nuc after a split in the same bee-yard for 3 days.

Just saying.

Rusty
Reply

Hi Charlie,

I absolutely agree that the technique has been around for a long time . . . after all, everything I know I learned from somebody else. However, I do not agree that it’s common knowledge. What is more common is the “three feet or three mile” advice. What I try to do here at Honey Bee Suite is distill and clarify piles of confusing information. Most techniques I write about I didn’t invent, I just re-phrased. The answers are all out there but oftentimes they are hard to find and/or hard to decipher.

Just saying.

Johnny Mason
Reply

Good stuff. We have a similar sense of humor and you knoooooow I’m going to start calling you Ray from now on. ;)

Rusty
Reply

Johnny,

No surprise there. Even my daughter is calling me Ray.

Phillip
Reply

I watched another of his videos. His hives are beautiful because they’re coated in fibreglass. Or that may be part of the reason, anyway. I used linseed oil to preserve the natural look of my hives. I’m switching to paint because the linseed oil wears out quickly. But if I knew anything about fibreglass, I’d give it a go. I wonder how safe it is for bee hives…

Rusty
Reply

Phillip,

I never heard of anyone fibreglassing a hive, but I suspect it would make it really heavy. I helped fibreglass a wooden boat once, and it weighed a ton afterward. That was a long time ago, though. Maybe things have improved.

Toby
Reply

The fiberglass part of the finish would be un-necessary in this case, you could use just use the epoxy if you wanted, it would probably be difficult, messy, and expensive. If you want a more durable finish that will last you might try spar varnish, it is commonly used on the exposed woodwork on boats.

Bruce
Reply

I have done a fair bit of fibreglassing and it would certainly protect your hive from the elements, but as Ray says it would increase the weight significantly. Although there are a few new (they claim) eco-friendly resins, I would worry about the toxicity of traditional fibreglass resins.

Pat
Reply

Love your sense of humour Ray! And your website!

Pat
Reply

:)))

Charlie
Reply

Rusty,

I don’t have a problem with what you said, “Most techniques I write about I didn’t invent, I just re-phrased. The answers are all out there but oftentimes they are hard to find and/or hard to decipher.”

I do have a problem when you “re-phrase” and call it your technique leading readers to believe you came up with it all on your own. The reader who posted the video was very happy to give you the credit for “your” technique. (That video was very well done by the way, great narration). You should give credit to whoever you learned this technique from instead of calling it your own.

Rusty
Reply

Charlie,

I see your point but the problem with that kind of knowledge (you called it “common” knowledge, I believe) is that who knows where it comes from? Much of this stuff I picked up years ago. Maybe it came from my grandfather? I have no idea. You know that ice melts at room temperature, okay? To whom do you credit that knowledge?

When I use the word “my” I simply mean my interpretation or my post or my writing or my site. When I hear about various techniques I try them, modify them in a way that works best for me, and then write about them. I supposed you could say the modifications are my own, but I’m not claiming that either. By the way, when I know the source of information, I always refer to it.

Charlie, if any person learns something from this site then I have accomplished my goal of accumulating, filtering, and simplifying the vast amount of bee knowledge that is out there. Many people appreciate it, obviously some do not. Although I hate to lose a reader, I realize my site is not for everyone.

Thank you for writing.

Charlie
Reply

All good points. I love your site BTW and read it often and will continue to do so. You have a gift for writing in which I give you all the credit!

Charlie

Rusty
Reply

Thank you, Charlie. Your points are well-taken as well.

Alan Harvey
Reply

Hi Rusty,

Thanks so much for your website. I live in the tropics (Malaysia) and being a typical male, I got my bees and hive first, then looked for instructions on what and how to do. First thing, the hive was in the wrong place, so I needed to move it. Everything I read said the old 3 ft to 3 mile rule. Then I came across your site. I moved my hive 4 nights ago to the other side of my house about 20 meters as the crow flies. First night all ok, second night half the hive managed to escape, but stayed on the hive, third day I let the rest of the bees out and all are quite happy in their new location. Thanks for your how-to page. I will be back as I haven’t a clue what I am doing, but am having fun learning and getting stung! Thanks Alan

Rusty
Reply

Alan,

I’m glad that worked for you. Thanks for letting me know.

Ilja
Reply

Guys, can you give some information about where and how I can buy a beehive trailer or other transport for moving hives?

pete
Reply

Why didn’t I find this site few weeks ago!

Had to move my hive to avoid flight path being in direction of a sensitive neighbour. I followed the three mile rule as I needed to move the hive about 25 feet within the garden. Left the hive in an orchard 15 miles away for three weeks. Got them back Friday in the new location and after two days I still have 60% of the flyers returning to the old site! Seems like they do make their way back eventually but they hover around the old position for most of the day so far. Just hope they wise up soon.

Great site.

Steve Owenby
Reply

Rusty, I’m just starting out on the adventure of beekeeping. I thought that I’d post on Facebook this fact in hopes that some friend would give me advice on how I could save some money in getting started … it worked! I have acquired a complete hive with 3 supers, smoker, veil and BEES. I have to move this hive about 60 miles. The hive is loaded … should the hive be transported as it sits now or can I break it down and seal it somehow for better transport. My truck has a tonneau cover – will this help or hurt?

I WILL be visiting this site often … great job!

Rusty
Reply

Steve,

The hive should really be moved as a unit, so the tonneau is going to get in the way. I usually set the hive on a piece of plywood then strap the whole thing together with a ratcheting tie down so it is really tight. I wait for the bees to come home at night, close the entrances, and move the hive the next day. I place a hand truck or furniture dolly under the plywood, rock the hive back, and then ramp it up into my truck. The plywood is needed because I have screened bottoms, but if you have solid bottoms, you don’t need it.

If you want to take it in pieces, you will need to close off the top and bottom of each box, and the bees aren’t going to like it. Still, if you decide to go that way, make sure each box is really tight so the bees can’t get out. I would then stack it in it’s normal position (with an entrance) and let all the bees come home before you close the entrance and move it the next day.

Timothy
Reply

Rusty.

If I lock them up for three days do I need to put the branches in front of it and how do I make sure the bees get air being in there?

Rusty
Reply

Timothy,

I would do both the locking down and the branches. Some bees are very stubborn.

For air you can use a screened bottom, a screened inner cover, you can put hardware cloth over the opening instead of solid wood, you can drill an air hole in the side of a brood box and screen it with hardware cloth, you can use a moving screen or a robbing screen, you can use a moisture quilt with screened vent holes, you can use a regular inner cover with the hole screened, or something I haven’t thought of.

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