How to move a hive

Honey bee hives get moved all the time. Just close up the entrance and strap the hive in a truck. That’s how beekeepers who provide pollination services operate, and it is one way bee diseases get spread around the country so quickly. Thus, Alabama law forbids the importation of honey bees on comb into the state. I recently had an opportunity to help move some hives being sold by a beekeeper who is moving out of the country.

Step 1. Block the hive entrances after dark by stapling window screen material over them.

Step 2. Secure the hive with a ratchet strap. Duct tape or hive staples are also sometimes used.

Step 3. Haul out the hives. Large pollination operations place hives on pallets and move them with a forklift.

Step 4. Load the hives in the truck.

Step 5. Secure the hive in the new location. If it less than two miles from the original beeyard, there is a risk that the forager bees may return to the first site.

Step 6. Remove the screen from the front entrance (and get ready to run).

Hives immediately after screen removal. They have thrived in their new location.

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