Looking back, I’m now starting to understand the “move a hive more than 3 miles” adage. It was a bit of an adventure moving the new swarm hive to the meadow at the end of our road – but so far an adventure worth the effort.
A few weeks after the swarm, we finally got around to moving the new hive a few hundred metres down the road. Apparently we live in a pretty good neighbourhood. I think I’ve met the owner of the meadow one time but with the wonder of email and other neighbours we were able to connect and make arrangements for the new location. Still haven’t met face to face but it seems like the bees have great new land owners. I’m looking forward to working with them as they too are interested in bees. You gotta wonder if the honey will have a different flavour too.
After getting the hive ready with proper ventilation (screened bottom board and mesh on a queen excluder on the top), the entrances were sealed once the sun had set and everyone was home for the night. It must have been quite the sight as I casually strolled down the road with a hive on my cart. A couple of neighbours drove by, smiled and didn’t even flinch – apparently this is within the realm of normal for our area.
Opening the entrances a couple of days later was admittedly a moment of excitement, and relief. The bees emerged and began to do their thing. Ironically, this hive is painted nicer and leveled better than the ones I have in my own yard! I guess that’s similar to cleaning your house before guests come over. The bees are guests in the meadow so they need to be on their best behavior and appearance. 🙂
As my wife and I had coffee on our back deck that morning, see noted the return of quite a few bees to the location where the hive used to be. Much to my dismay, there were several dozen what I called “remedial bees” who were lost (hence the general idea is to move hives 3 miles away so the bees realize they are somewhere else and need to re-orient/pay attention). Looking back, they might have been advanced bees who were looking for some time off from the hive! At any rate, the nuc box came into action as a temporary hive for the day. No queen or queen pheromones but by the end of the day, there were several hundred stragglers so I strapped them to my wagon and gave them a ride back to their new home. We figured it was fitting end to a day of relaxing with no queen or others to tell them what to do. The bees were immediately welcomed into the new hive and they got their nasanov glands going full tilt to signal the others.
Rinse and repeat.
Yes, the same thing happened the next day but with only about a quarter of the number of bees. Thankfully there weren’t very many on the days that followed as they eventually met a rather tragic end that I’d rather not talk about. 😦
Much monitoring and tinkering later and the meadow hive seems to be happy and thriving! Here’s to good neighbours, a great old wagon that my kids used to use and a patient, observant wife.
The C1H2 adventure has begun…but that naming thing is another story.