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Warré Beekeeping
Moving Warré hives

Example of moving 6 hives within the foraging range (contributed by Hubert Pilon, Canada)

  • Just before sunset, roof and quilt were substituted for an eke with a perforated metal sheet nailed to it, facing down on the top-bar cloth.
  • Two ratchet straps were installed from under floor (original Warré one) up to the 'screened top', very well tightened.

moving_pilon8.jpg (90476 bytes)  moving_pilon6.jpg (94795 bytes)

  • Hives and positions labelled.

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  • When completely dark outside, around 22.00 hours with an outside temperature of 18oC, a puff or two of smoke was given at the entrance of the hive.

moving_pilon7.jpg (64811 bytes)  moving_pilon3.jpg (59902 bytes) 

  • The hive then 'bear hugged' and gently put into the trailer, strapped again to the trailer.

moving_pilon11.jpg (71904 bytes)

  • An empty nucleus box was left at old hive position in case of lost bees.
  • Drove really slowly (1-4 km/h) to the destination 650 m away (700 yards).
  • A puff or two of smoke was given at the entrance of the hive (open at all time).

moving_pilon9.jpg (80669 bytes)

  • 'Bear hugged' the hive out of trailer and placed at final position.
  • Removed straps, screened top & replaced quilt and roof.
  • Loose grass was placed in front of hive entrance in order to encourage morning orientation.

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  • End of operation: around midnight.

moving_pilon2.jpg (107353 bytes) Hives the following morning in their new apiary.

  • Since the distance of the move was only 650 m, i.e. within the foraging range of the original sites, it took a week to retrieve the lost bees in nuc boxes at the original sites, of course in decreasing number each night. Every nuc box containing bees was switched for an empty one, and then carried in front of its respective parent hive at the new site.
  • It took around two weeks to get back to normal foraging.