Author Topic: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile  (Read 331 times)

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Offline Jen

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Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« on: June 11, 2022, 01:23:07 pm »
Educational Question: When you make a split or nuc, it's important to move that nuc at least 2 miles away for a few days. How many days and why 2 miles?
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2022, 04:29:25 pm »
You don't have to move splits, but if you don't the foragers will just return to the mother hive.  If you move the bees outside their normal foraging range, usually around 3 miles, they will reorient to that new location because they don't recognize where they are.  I've never done this, but I'd imagine you only need to leave them there one or two nice weather days to facilitate the reorientation, and then you could move them back.  When you did, the foragers would re-reorient to that new location in your original yard and not return back to the mother hive they came from.

I don't have a second yard, so when I make splits, like I did today in fact, I just be sure to load them up with capped brood to replace the foragers lost back to the mother hive and enough food to last until those new bees are hatched.

Another method is to switch the positions of the hives in the yard, so the new split is at the location of the mother hive and vice versa, so the foragers return to the split instead of their original colony.  This can deplete the original colony of foragers though, so in this situations it's the mother colony that will need capped brood and stores instead of the split. 
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Offline tedh

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2022, 06:31:23 pm »
Ive always heard, admittedly might have been from the voices in my head, that obstructing the entrance with small branches, weeds, whatever, will encourage them to reorient.  Obstruct mind you, not plug.  Ted
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Offline Jen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2022, 07:39:47 pm »
15th, nice info here, easy to understand too  ;)

I haven't ever had a second yard either until this year. Actually it's not my yard, it's the fair grounds yard with two hives that I'm now stewarding. It's kinda nice to run a split out to that yard for about a week.

What I have been doing for years with splits/nucs, is block the entrance with #8 cloth which keeps them from going back home right away, add three brood frames with nurse bees, one frame honey, one drawn wax frame, sweep in some worker bees which might be from a different hive. Take them to the other side of my yard, turn them to face the opposite way from the other hives. Leave them for 2-3 days, then let them out. And place 3 walnut sized rocks or a small branch on the entrance, they will re-orient with that visual. After a few days I will take them back to the apiary.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2022, 07:40:41 pm »
Hi Ted, Yep I still do that.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2022, 10:34:06 pm »
Yup, I use a 12 by 16 piece of plywood leaned against the front of the hive over the entrance on BOTH hives, the hive the split came from and the new split. Provided I am too LAZY to move the nic to a different spot for a while.
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Offline RAST

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2022, 07:57:05 am »
I have moved the parent hive a few feet over and left the nuc in its place, foragers will go into both.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2022, 11:09:40 am »
I have moved the parent hive a few feet over and left the nuc in its place, foragers will go into both.

I have done the same.  I can't remember who I heard speak about placing a branch or similar over the entrance of the split, but it was a waste of time.  I don't think it hurts but it was found to be ineffective.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2022, 05:39:38 pm »
Another “trick” I’ve heard is to change the direction of the entrance on the nuc for a week or so…
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2022, 05:44:27 pm »
I can't remember who I heard speak about placing a branch or similar over the entrance of the split, but it was a waste of time.  I don't think it hurts but it was found to be ineffective.
I remember Rusty Burlew from HoneyBeeSuite.com talking about that method, but she back-peddled on it a few years later when she had it not work consistently for her.   
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Offline Jen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2022, 05:54:26 pm »
15th, do you mean the branch in the entrance thing?
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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2022, 06:14:19 pm »
15th, do you mean the branch in the entrance thing?
Yes.  Here's her post on moving a hive and using a branch to help reorient them, and at the bottom she has a link to her article where she has changed her opinions somewhat on its effectiveness. 
https://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-move-a-hive/
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Offline Jen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2022, 12:42:34 am »
Hey 15th, this is so cool! because this is exactly how I do it as well. Good article, to the point, easy read. Thanks!  ;)
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Offline RAST

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2022, 07:32:59 am »
I also have used the entrance obstruction many times and will do it again shortly. I would guess it had a success rate of 75% for me and I don't lock them in due to Fl heat.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2022, 11:50:46 am »
Yes, BRANCH needs to be defined... a stick, is not what is meant, a BRANCH with branches, and leaves that make an obstruction...    Moving hives is also great to strengthen a weak hive, switching places with a stronger hive, so the foragers return to that hive.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Moving A Nuc To A New Location For Awhile
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2022, 10:46:52 pm »
15th, I read the article and the added update on Honeybeesuite. Good read. How she did her entrance obstacles is exactly how I have always done it. Her update tho doesn't feel to me like the usual ending of re-orientation with a split. The update feels like something else was happening with those bees, I don't think the ferns tapped over the entrance made the bees angry. But of course that is simply, my opinion.

I've learned thru a little bee science that bees have faceted eyes, like diamonds. When they are 3 weeks old they are sent out to forage, they fly out of the hive, turn around and memorize the front of their own hive, then turn and continue their journey of foraging.  Now that they are flying away they learn to memorize the big tree to the left, the telephone poll to the right, the orange house straight ahead, then they are at the field of purple alphalfa where they will gather food for the rest of the day. They will head back to the orange house, the telephone pole, and the big tree, and then to their hive of which they studied that morning. If that hive is amongst several other hives, the new flying bees will know which one they belong too. SO! If the split went into a hive box that looks exactly like the one it was taken from, I think it’s a good idea to place an obstacle of sorts at the entrance for a few days. It doesn’t have to be a big branch nor an entire fern plant, just a couple stones will do. 

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