If you’ve read many beekeeping books or if your local beekeeping group is like mine then you’ve heard the rules about moving a beehive a short distance – only about 3 feet at a time, or over 2 miles at a time.
Well, we’re striving to break that supposed rule.
We wanted to move our hive, but about 125 feet. I sure wasn’t up for doing that 3 feet at a time. Surely there was a way to do this. Well, it turns out there is.
I remembered watching a video a while back at Bee Bayou, owners of the Facebook Group Bees & Beeks, where he talked about using lemongrass oil as a lure when trapping swarms. I had also heard about placing boughs in front of the hive to cause the bees to reorient. Maybe would could combine these efforts to increase our odds at not having the bees fly off to the old hive location!
So that is what we determined to try.
We started off by going out after nightfall and placing some tulle fabric in the hive entrance. This just happened to be some material we had laying around. The tulle, being a mesh-like fabric, allowed for air to pass through the entrance, but not the bees.
We then used a ratchet strap to secure the whole hive together for the impending move. This is an effort to make sure that nothing slips off, causing a disaster.
We placed the hive into our 4-wheeled garden cart and trucked it over to the new location. I placed the hive onto the new supports and we went to bed.
The next morning I cut a small twig of pine needles off a tree as well as two large boughs of cedar. I also prepared 2 cotton balls with a few drops of lemongrass oil on each one.
I replaced the tulle fabric with the small pine twig and placed the cotton balls at the entrance. I then leaned the cedar branches against the front of the hive, causing another obstruction.
With the hive now setup in this manner the hope is that the bees will reorient and return to the hive. We will leave the setup like this for a day and then remove all of the obstructions at night.
Be sure to Subscribe to our YouTube Channel as we’ll working our beehive throughout the year. We’ll also not just be working with honeybees, but native bees as well!