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my first skiddable bee hut  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I built this bee hut in the spring of 2005. You can even see some of my freshly constructed terraces in the background.

Since a bee hut is open, we don't have any walls to add structural integrity. So I shored up the supports and added some knee bracing.

I found an old choker cable buried in the woods so I'm going to permanently add that to the bee hut for dragging.
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paul wheaton
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Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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.
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David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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er Why do you need it to be "skidable" ?

David
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22615
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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David Livingston wrote:er Why do you need it to be "skidable" ?

David


Because things change. One day it works great in one location and the next day it will be better in a different location.

With Emily and Tony's bee hut, they had it facing south, but it really needs to face southeast. So they rotated it slightly. That would have been very difficult if it had not been a skiddable structure.

Further, it is pretty convenient to build next to the shop. So we build it where it is convenient, and then later move it to where it is convenient to have it.

 
Thomas Partridge
Posts: 140
Location: Zone 7a
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I read that if you plan to move the bees a short distance (as opposed to a long one) you may need to "reorient" them by first putting a branch or something in front of their entrance for a bit (a few days if I remember but don't quote me on it ) then move them to the new location while they are asleep. I believe you then put the branch back in front of their entrance. Supposedly you have a lot more problems with bees getting lost moving their hives 100 ft than you do if you move their hives 100 miles.

Again I could be remembering things wrong from all the research I did 3 years ago into beekeeping, but I do remember something about there being problems with moving bees short distances.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1699
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Yes, there are problems moving hives. However I don't think the structure would be moved with hive loaded on it, as they would likely be jostled and jarred in the move.

More plausible is to move the hives out of the structure and transport them a decent distance away (more than 3 miles).
Skid the structure to a new location
Drive the hives back to the new structure location and install them
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
Posts: 57
Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Thomas Partridge wrote:I read that if you plan to move the bees a short distance (as opposed to a long one) you may need to "reorient" them by first putting a branch or something in front of their entrance for a bit (a few days if I remember but don't quote me on it ) then move them to the new location while they are asleep. I believe you then put the branch back in front of their entrance. Supposedly you have a lot more problems with bees getting lost moving their hives 100 ft than you do if you move their hives 100 miles.

Again I could be remembering things wrong from all the research I did 3 years ago into beekeeping, but I do remember something about there being problems with moving bees short distances.


No. you remember right: Hives should not be moved while the foragers are out, and even if you take the precaution of moving them at night, their location memory is at least 3-4 days. The pictures show beekeeping equipment being moved. Not full hives.
It is a chore to move hives unless you have the proper equipment. I have observed better survival rate with a structure having 3 walls and a roof: the 3 walls are to kill the wind/ whipping rain, and the roof is for the rain. What I used for the roof is a transparent, corrugated plastic, sold @ Menards in sheets of 4'X 8' It adds very little weight to the structure and keeps the light. Mine is not mobile, unfortunately, but with a concrete floor painted black, my girls are cosy even in the worst of winter, here in WI. [The guy who poured the concrete asked me several times: You want it black? really? chuckles.]
Having a dedicated structure also makes it easier to place a small table from which you can move heavy boxes without straining my back. Also, storage of unused equipment, like all my tools/ products, inner covers, extra roofs or entrance gates is a cinch, and everything is handy, right there. Keeping your records for each hive is also simplified.
I think one of the best I have seen is an old semi trailer with one long wall missing. It could hold quite a few hives, and be movable ... sort of, but I don't have the truck to move that, nor the acreage to move it around, so fixed is OK.
I have 5 hives under that transparent roof now, and they produced well. I have weather resistant 3/4"plywood  I cut to fit under each hive and put on some dollies so that when I need to bring all the other hives in, I can pack them tight and they can still breathe and be out of the worst of the weather. My hubby built me a contraption so that I can lift a whole hive and move it late in the evening, put it on the dolly, wrap it for winter and nest it tight along the others. I dedicate one day for each hive,  (15 hives need to be protected)and yes, since I'm not moving them very far [about 100 ft], I have to put an obstacle, like a hive cover, leaning against the entrance, so they know that things are different. Leave it a couple of days. You won't lose any foragers.
A good time to move them is at first hard frost, when you notice that they are chasing the drones out. Plug any extra entrances and leave only 2 small ones, one at the top, one at the bottom. Then you can move them on your schedule. I have not lost foragers this way.
 
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