Saturday, September 13, 2014
When Pink Hive combined with Purple Hive, a prime spot opened for Mint Hive. Mint Hive sat alone, just 4 feet in front of the other hives, and was virtually engulfed in a forest of asparagus ferns. The bees didn’t seem to mind and they even switched their flight path from straight ahead to sideways. They are adaptable, it just takes a bit of time for them to figure things out. That’s why it’s best to approach major changes in baby steps, like moving Mint Hive in line with the other colonies. Here’s the process I use for moving hives, which I assure you is a very infrequent event.
Step 1. Blocking the Entrance
Friday eve, I removed Mint Hive’s entrance reducer. The girls came out and inspected. I gave them an hour or two to settle down. When it was dark and I was sure the foragers had returned for the night, I snuck up and blocked their lower and upper entrances til morning.
Step 2. Moving the Hive
Early Saturday morning, around 7am, I recruited the hubster’s assistance. We easily lifted the hive and moved it to its new location.
Step 3. The Long Wait
I left the hive shut tight for 24 hours.
Step 4. Freedom at Last
Sunday morning I unblocked the entrance, placed the entrance reducer on medium, then placed a bushy branch in front of the entrance so they had to go through the obstacle to leave the hive. The purpose is to allow them to reorient when they leave the hive so they can return to the same location without issue. This worked for most of the bees, but there always seem to be a few who are dazed and confused, flying around their old stomping grounds wondering what happened to their home.
By evening they’d figured it out. Everyone had calmed down, so I opened the top entrance and added their feeders. Now Mint Hive officially lives on Colony Row. Welcome to the neighborhood Mint Hive!