Hive needing a new home


I have just received a call regarding what I believe to be an existing colony of bees located within a shed. The owner would like the colony to be moved. The colony seems to be situated close to the floor of the shed, although no further details are known yet.

I will be visiting the owners this evening to inspect and firstly check whether these are bees, and whether the colony can be moved.

Does anyone have any advise on how to safely move an existing colony and transfer it to a Warre hive?


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2 Responses to Hive needing a new home

  1. johnmkubwa says:

    Andrew there is a 90% chance they are bumblebees; in which case they will likely complete their annual cycle in August and could be left for a few weeks.
    If they are honeybees, and have to be moved, I would make up some make-shift frames for a Warré hive to hold the nest combs using rubber bands (stretched vertically and horizontally). Make sure the combs stay in order and the right way up. Flying bees will move to cover the brood but the queen may hide. When I have performed such a ‘cut-out’ I leave the box in situ for a day until things have settled down a bit and remove it in the late evening when all bees are in (hopefully).

    This operation is stressful for the colony and an inexperienced beek; it is not always successful but it is better than someone destroying the colony.
    John H Stockbridge Hants

    • andrewprz says:


      Many thanks for the advise. Turns out it was bumblebees. After having explained the bublebees’ annual cycle, the shed owners were happy to leave them in place.

      Andrew N Somerset

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