We had to move our hives of bees to a location that would maximize their situation for these coming summer months.
Today was designated moving day.
Since I don't have a good relationship with the bees (actually it's only their back end stinging apparatus that causes me a problem), I stayed out of the fun and games while Chicken Mama and Gilligan gave Papa Pea a helping hand.
The bees can be particular about the relocation of their hives. If you move them less than a couple of feet, no problem, all is well. But if the move is to more than a couple of feet away from the old location and still within their familiar flying range of several miles, you have to trick them into returning to their newly moved hives rather than going back to the old location . . . even though the hive is no longer there.
Just to make things seem even more complicated, if you move the hives to a new spot many miles away, they fly out of the hive, take a look around and realize they are definitely not (in Kansas anymore?) in familiar territory and will automatically re-orientate themselves to the new spot and have no trouble finding it when they make the trip back to the newly located home base hives.
Anybody still with me?
Now back to how to convince the emerging bees that we didn't locate them two counties away, but rather only moved them ten feet.
It's necessary to create some sort of barrier in front of the hive that is unusual. This could be some lengths of boards leaned up against the hives, the handles of many garden tools like shovels or hoes, a length of snow fencing, anything that they can get through but not something solid like sheets of plywood.
Or you could use evergreen boughs as we did. (Extra person in the above picture is our good neighbor, D, who had come over to pick up the incubator and some duck and goose eggs he's going to give a try at hatching out.)
The bees come out, (probably say, "What the heck?!") navigate their way through the constructed barrier and go on their merry little pollen-gathering way. When they head home, they remember this strange barrier they had to go through to get back to the hive and all is well.
We'll leave the boughs in front of the hives for 2-3 days which should be enough time for the bees to acclimate to their (slightly) new location.
Now a new coat of paint on the hives and they should be set for summer and happy in their sunny location.
2 hours ago