In order to change the positions of some of my hives I am going to have to take them to a place 20 kilometres from here so the bees forget where they are living at the moment. In a week or so, I can bring them back and put them on their new stands without having them try to fly back to their original position. It sounds a lot of effort, but bees are so good at remembering where they live, you can’t just move a hive from one spot to another without losing quite a lot of the older bees in the colony.
There is another way of achieving the same thing and that is to place the hive in one of our caves for a few days. With no reference to the sun for the time they are in the dark, the bees become disoriented and can be safely moved to a new place. I hesitate to use that method at the moment because the colonies are in full spring build-up mode and need all the flying time they can get in order to bring pollen in to the hive. Four days in the dark would not help them in their efforts.
This week has seen the arrival of the first two lambs of the year. Unlike last year, the air temperatures are quite mild so no problems for them keeping warm.