How To Move Bees From One Hive To Another? Bee Transferring

An important component of measures for the maintenance and breeding of bees is the transfer or move bees from one hive to another. Sooner or later, neither an experienced nor a novice beekeeper will be able to avoid this procedure. Therefore, it is important to know how to do it correctly perform transferring bees to a new hive.

How To Move Bees From One Hive To Another

Table of Contents

Can you transfer bees to a new hive?

Moving or transferring of bees into a new hive is usually carried out when the old one is worn out or damaged. In addition, this procedure helps to improve the composition of the colony, as a result of which it is possible to achieve an increase in the quality and quantity of honey collected.

It is recommended to relocate bee colonies annually, preferably in early spring, when there are no offspring and honey reserves in the hives yet. If it is not possible to transfer the colony every year, you can do it once every 2 years.

Moving from a bee package is done for an obvious reason: a family with a queen needs a new place of residence. But why it is necessary to move bees from one hive to another, causes misunderstanding for many. 

There are several reasons why you should transfer bees to a new hive:

  • bee colonies multiply rapidly, they need more space over time;
  • insect diseases require disinfection of the hive;
  • wear or damage to the hive;
  • prevention of infection;
  • low drift.

preparing old hive for new bees

Before settling bees, each hive must be disinfected and preserved. To carry out the procedure for changing the hives, you should choose a warm sunny day. If possible, it is recommended to preheat the housing in which the colony is planned to be settled. It is necessary to process it inside with a blowtorch, especially if bees have already been contained there.


If the hive is not sufficiently disinfected, the colony may leave it immediately after settling. Bees are repelled by odors.

After processing, the hive should:

  1. Wash with clean water.
  2. Dry thoroughly in direct sunlight.
  3. Place the hive. Herbs of motherwort, mint or catnip are well suited for this.

All contaminated and damaged frames after removal are cleaned and subject to further disinfection.

If you plan to move using a bee package, you should arrange the hives in the apiary in advance in the proper order, prepare drinking bowls and waxed frames. Everything must be perfectly clean. Feeding should be prepared in advance by mixing 1500 grams of sugar with a liter of water. From the syringe, the mixture must be injected into the bags.

Bee Transferring

how to move bees from one hive to another?

When the preparation process is over, you can proceed directly to transfer. On a hot day, it is better not to do this, you should wait for the evening. If the weather is cool, the time of day chosen for relocation does not matter much.

transferring bees from Dadant hive

Hives made according to the Dadant method are best suited for bee relocation. The process is very simple. First of all, you should substitute an additional body next to the hive. Then you need to perform the following algorithm of actions:

  1. Install the stand near the old case. Put a hive cover on it.
  2. Then you should remove the case and put it on top of the cover.
  3. Cover it with a cloth to avoid hypothermia and death of the brood.
  4. Install the new housing in place of the old one.
  5. With the help of a smoker, you should drive the swarm out of the old hive.
  6. Rearrange the frames in the new house in the proper order, as they stood before.
  7. Remove unusable dirty frames.
  8. If there is enough space in the hive, it is recommended to place a foundation sheet between the feed frame and the brood frame.
  9. Bees may remain on the walls of the old hive. They need to be driven out by turning the old housing over and shaking the bees into the new house with a brush. If necessary, you can use a smoker. Then it is recommended to put a piece of plywood next to the notch. Flightless bees should be shaken off on it, they themselves will crawl into their new home.
  10. Add frames on top to expand the bee colony.
  11. Cover the hive with foil, secure with a frame and insulate with a cloth.

When transferring bees, you should be extremely careful in order to save the queen. After the procedure, the old hive should be disinfected and dried, after which it can be used again.

Important! The new hive must be installed exactly at the location of the old one. It is desirable that it outwardly resembles the bees of their former housing. So the bees will quickly get used to the new home, which will eliminate the need to relocate them twice.

how to relocate honey bees from bee packages

Bee packages can only be purchased in the spring. Therefore, the Moving of bees into the hive should be carried out at this time of the year. Each package contains a queen bee, young, and brood. Preparation for the resettlement procedure should be carried out according to the rules described above. 

Then you should follow this order of actions:

  1. The bee package must be installed in the place where the hive is supposed to be located.
  2. Then you need to open the notch and give the bees the opportunity to get acquainted with the area.
  3. After the end of the flight, you should install the hive in place of the package.
  4. Then you need to arrange frames with bees. The rest of the bees need to be swept into the hive.
  5. After the family gets used to the new house and calms down, you can release the uterus.

moving bees in different seasons

The most favorable time for transferring bees is early spring. But relocation is also possible in the fall before the onset of frost, and even in summer. The behavior of bees in each season has its own characteristics, so the process of bee Moving varies depending on the season.

moving bees in Spring

Despite the fact that the spring migration of bees is most preferable, it requires maximum responsibility and caution. During the winter, the hive is polluted with the remains of the vital activity of bees and dead individuals. Therefore, it is at this time of the year that it is recommended to update the hives. This measure will also eliminate the danger of the spread of dampness and mold inside the bees’ housing.

It is recommended to carry out this procedure in the morning during the flight. The air temperature should not be below 14 degrees. Returning from the flight, the bees themselves will fly into a new clean hive.

Attention! It is very important to do everything as quickly as possible in order to avoid hypothermia of the brood, which threatens its death.

moving bees in Summer

The bees multiply rapidly. Families are growing, so in the summer it may be necessary to replace small hives with larger ones. In this case, a transfer will be required. In the summer, it consists of the following stages:

  1. 2-3 frames are removed, in which the brood and the uterus are located. They move to a larger hive.
  2. The remaining space is filled with rebuilt honeycombs. If they are not available, waxed frames can be used.
  3. Then you need to put a dividing grid.
  4. From above you need to install a small beehive.
  5. Open spaces must be closed.
  6. After a while, the uterus will move to larger combs. All smaller combs should be placed in the old hive.
  7. After the offspring are hatched, the small hive can be removed.

moving bees in autumn

Autumn transferring of bees is carried out in order to unite weak colonies into one strong one, and also to prevent rally and swarming. Bees from two hives move to one common. Honey from two old houses is mixed and used for feeding. This helps both families get used to the new smell. Then the weak uterus is replaced by a stronger one.

Caring for bees does not require constant supervision. However, if you miss the moment and do not take proper measures, you can irretrievably lose the entire families of beneficial bees. The timely Moving of bees is an important component of caring for them. The process seems complicated at first glance, but, adhering to the rules, even a novice beekeeper can handle it.