This past weekend I gained some experience in moving a hive…a full hive!
A fellow beekeeper decided to sell one of his hives and I agreed to purchase it…and thankfully Tim helped me move it. We did this on sunday…but required some preparation sunday morning by the hive seller. He had to “button it up” by using a screened wire top and front cover as well as some straps around all the boxes to keep it together in transit. He did this in the early morning so that the bees would be in the hive. It was pretty cool this past weekend so that was another factor we had to consider. Anytime you move a hive the bees will of course be disturbed, and once at the destination, will want to get OUT of the hive. If it is too cold they will freeze, which obviously isn’t good, so we did the best we could and chose the warmer of the two days…but I don’t think warm is a word I would use to describe seattle right now.
Upon arrival at the origin point, tim, myself and john had to maneuver the hive down from its stand and onto a handtruck. I was not in beekeeping uniform nor was tim, but john was. He was at the front of the hive, and tim and I were on either side. One of my hands was at the front of the hive though and at some point I heard …”we have a leak”. I feel tickles on my hand and try not to freak out. No stings, whew. We readjusted and continued on into Tim’s van without event.
It was a bit unnerving to be sitting in a van with 5 boxes of bees sitting behind us, buzzing. This seemed like a nightmare just waiting to happen.
The only event came when we had the hive settled in its new home, next to my other hive…and I had to “unbutton” the hive. I failed to bring my boots, but did have my beesuit on. I let the bees loose and they went crazy, and clung onto me for warmth. Did I say I didn’t have my boots on? I gingerly walked around the hive trying to get the screened covers off with a screw driver. In between looking at my ankles, which were covered with bees and trying to flick them off with the screw driver, I finally succeeded at getting away from the hive. I almost made it until I got it…right on the ankle, no doubt by a perturbed and cold bee…which now died as a result of me not wearing boots and having to sting me.
here’s a pic of the hive in the van:
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