Safely moving a beehive is a valuable skill for beekeepers. Many beekeepers transport their colonies every season to help farmers pollinate their crops, while others simply want to change the layout of their backyards. Whatever your reason for relocating your bees, you’ll need to keep several key things in mind. From keeping the colony together to protecting your own health, here are some top tips for safely moving beehives.
Take Care of Yourself
Your mission is to keep your bees safe, but you’ll also want to take a few precautions for your own safety. Be sure to wear protective clothing such as a beekeeping suit, gloves, or a hat and veil whenever you move the hive. Even the friendliest of bee colonies can get agitated when you mess with their home, and you’ll probably have a few stragglers even if you secure and seal the hive. It’s also important to remember that beehives are heavy. If you don’t have equipment to help you lift and transport your hives, make sure you enlist a friend or colleague to help you handle the hive.
Securing the Hive
When you move your beehives, you don’t want to separate or lose any members of the colony. It’s recommended to move the hive after sunset or early in the morning because the worker bees will have returned to the hive for the night. Before moving the hive, be sure to close off the entrance of the hive so that your bees can’t escape. You can also wrap the hive in fine, sturdy netting to make sure you don’t leave any bees behind. Additionally, be sure to secure the lid, frames, and other hive components so that nothing rattles around or breaks during transport.
Don’t Let Your Bees Overheat
Temperature control is one of the hive’s most important features. Bees work hard to ensure the interior of the hive doesn’t get too hot or too cold. As we mentioned, when you transport the hive, you have to seal off the entrances to keep the colony safely inside. Unfortunately, this also means trapping heat inside and making it harder for bees to properly ventilate the space. One of the top tips for safely moving beehives and avoiding an overheated colony is to make the move after sunset or first thing in the morning, when temperatures are cooler. You can also block the hive’s entrance with a mesh screen or other cover that allows air flow. If you move your hives in a vehicle, be sure to use air conditioning or roll down the windows so that the hive doesn’t overheat.
When it comes to handling and transporting your colonies, you must have the proper beehive equipment. Mann Lake can help you find the equipment, gear, or advice you need to take care of your honey bees.
What are your top tips for transporting beehives? Help a fellow beekeeper out in the comments below!