I am an apiarist with years of experience working with bees and their hives. I'm here to share vital knowledge about transporting bees!
Transporting Bees Safely
Moving a hive in your car doesn't have to be a dangerous or risky proposition. If you aren't careful though, the situation could go terribly wrong. You would hate to end up with angry bees in the car with you! Follow the 3 golden rules in this article and all will be well with the world.
Every once in a while you will find yourself needing to move hives of bees from one apiary to another. This is a fairly common thing to do for beekeepers to do fairly often. For example, if you are creating new nucs from some of your strongest boxes, it is more than just a good idea to move the new boxes to a different location. In fact, it is a good idea to move at least two miles away.
Obviously, you aren’t going to carry them that far by hand, you will probably be relocating them by your car or truck. The best option for transporting a box of “fairly unhappy” bees is with a truck. This will keep you and them completely separated, also known as “keeping those pesky little bugs from stinging you while you are driving down the road at 60 miles an hour.” If you are lucky enough to have a truck, it is as simple as closing the hives up and driving them to the new location. Just make sure you follow the three golden rules listed below.
What If You Don't Have a Truck?
If you, like me, do not have access to a truck, you will probably be forced to go with your car trunk. Don’t worry, they will be fine with the heat, their hive is usually pretty warm. I wouldn’t keep them in the trunk much longer than you need to but they will certainly be fine.
There is one warning that I would give you if you do drive them around town in your car: please, please, please, make sure that you seal your boxes as well as humanly possible. I was in a hurry one time when taking two new nucs from one bee yard to my house.
When I drove into my driveway, I heard a rather loud buzzing coming from my trunk. Let me tell you, it gave me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Yes, there were thousands of bees crawling around trying to find a way out of my car. I was fortunate enough to not have them find their way into the driver’s area with me while I was driving, but it certainly could have happened.
The 3 Golden Rules
Important Rules to Follow:
1. Use Entrance Reducers: This will help in keeping the areas of egress to a minimum.
2. Plug All Holes: Some hives have ventilation holes, and you don’t want them used as exits.
3. Don’t Skimp on Duck Tape: Use as much tape as you possibly can over every exit, hole, and seam of the hive.
Most Importantly, "Bee" Safe
I had forgotten rule #3 and had not taped the box well enough. The lid had cracked open when I hit a bump in the road, and the tape didn’t hold well enough.
Follow these simple guidelines and you shouldn’t end up like I did with my little friends out of their box.
What Can Happen If You Aren't Careful Enough!
I would love to get feedback from you, what kind of things would you like to hear about?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Chris H on May 17, 2017:
You forgot rule #4. (applies to car or SUV delivery) After steps 1-3 are complete:
#4 Wrap the nuc/s with a clean bed sheet/s as insurance in case #1-3 fail during transport.
anonymous on May 25, 2013:
I shut hole of nuc with a towel then wentuse an old net type laundry bag with a cinch at end, slip it over nuc and close it shut. Kind of belts n suspenders but nice peace of mind. Drive a truck and usually have nuc in passenger seat next to me on swarm calls! Makes me a better driver lol much more cautious when I hear the buzz
jadehorseshoe on December 23, 2011:
Return Visitor. Interesting Lens!
Ken Parker from Tacoma, Wa on June 11, 2011:
great job on the lens.
Morticella LM on May 28, 2011:
I agree with Lizzie
lizziehumphreys1 on May 24, 2011:
Unusual lens, but you made a good job!