How do I move bees? If during the summer, how? Best time of day, minimum distance, etc.

Q: How do I move bees? If during the summer, how? Best time of day, minimum distance, etc. I have a hive I want to move closer to my house before winter as they’re in an open area ideal for the summer, but probably not the winter.

A: Dr. Larry Connor, prominent speaker and author, fielded this question for us.

Moving bees 100 feet?


  • Move two feet a day for fifty days or

  • Move main hive to new location and place a nucleus where the colony was to capture returning foragers or

  • Provide winter protection with bales of straw, a snow/wind fence, a woven fence, etc.


The key is to maintain sun exposure during winter and reduce the wind—more critical in the far north, less of an issue in the mid-south. I’ve used wood pallets propped beside the hive out of desperation.

Moving bees to another apiary? Anytime.


  • At night when bee flight is done.

  • Two miles minimum.

  • Ventilation. I’d have the screened bottom board open and a top moving screen.

  • Screen the entrance—put on after flight ends and remove when secure in the new location.


Of course, everything should be fastened together with moving straps, hive staples, or (in a panic) duct tape. Every beekeeper should have a moving strap AND hive staples at all times.

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