Change of address

Etched in my back…er mind…is a picture of a bad interaction with the bees last year.  It was shortly after that episode that I decided that if I was to continue to have bees, they had to be away from people.  We bought property out in the country early this Spring and one of its main purposes was to be a bee yard.  After this weekend of labor, I am happy to report that the majority of the bees have been relocated to the new bee yard and seem to be doing quite well.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  As you might have guessed, it was anything but.  Of course, any test of one’s mettle always makes for a good story if nothing else.  To ease the move, I decided we would mostly enclose the bees with screen and other stuff the night before.  To enclose the bees the morning of the move would only stir them up and make the process miserable.  Each hive got the screen treatment except for a small access ares for the bees to come and go.  The plan was to screen that final access point, throw the bees in a truck and go.

My father-in-law and I started before sunrise to carry the bees from his back hillside to the truck.  So, we grabbed ahold of 150 or so pounds of bees+hive+honey and prepared to stumble down the hill, guided solely by the sweet glow of the…yeah, it was dark.  We tried to carry a heavy bunch of bees down a hillside in the dark.  FAIL.  Oh don’t get me wrong, gravity works and we got the bees down the hill and into the truck but it wasn’t fun.  Luckily, the first one took us so long that it was daylight before we got to the next ones and they all went pretty smoothly.


We finished the electric fence of doom a week or so ago so hopefully any bears, raccoons, or bee-lovin’ dinosaurs will find that my bees are not on the menu.  I still have 4 more hives to move but it was such a relief to get the first batch moved to their new address in the country!

8 thoughts on “Change of address

  1. Warren
    That is a nice well done bee yard. I have a friend who did one like it in bear country. The only thing he did different was to take some hardware cloth and attach it to the hot wires of the fence. He coats the hardware cloth with peanut butter. The last time I had talked to him he had not been raided yet. He said sometimes you can see the ground tore up where a bear stuck his tongue to the peanut butter and decided to leave in a hurry.


  2. “Of course, any test of one’s mettle always makes for a good story if nothing else.”

    That’s what I always think. Blog fodder!

    Good job moving them bees!

  3. Stupid question time: Do you think you left many bees behind of the hives you moved? I figured they’d all be moved in the dark to avoid losing bees.
    I think your anti-bear area looks like it will work just fine. 🙂

  4. Ceecee – We def left some but it was still pretty early and just barely light when we did the other hives so it was minimal. The thiny opening that I left was easy to close up in a hurry so not too many came out when we started messing around them.

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