Curious Fact: An established beehive can be moved to a new location less than 10 feet away, or more than 2 miles away, without confusing the bees. But between 10 feet and 2 miles, the bees are likely to return to the old hive location and never find their way home again.
Moving is done while the bees are closed into the hive at night. If the hive is still located within their usual foraging radius (approximately 2 miles), they will go out to forage the next day and then navigate their way back home by familiar landmarks. If the hive is within ten feet of its former location, they will see and smell it once they are close enough. But if it is, for instance, half a mile away, they will become confused by their familiar landmarks and search aimlessly for their home in its old location. On the other hand, in the absence of familiar landmarks outside that 2-mile radius, they will re-orient themselves to new landmarks and thereby make their way safely home.
Adventure Update: My dddh (dear delightful darling husband) made a new stand for the hives today, of his own design based on my specifications (i.e., stable and more than 10 inches but less than 2 feet high). It was a cold day, starting in the fifties and getting steadily colder over the course of the day, so the bees weren’t out much anyway, but I did notice a few returning to the hive’s permanent location and bumbling around a bit before finding its temporary spot.
First, my studly man leveled the site:
With a little help:
Then he placed cinder blocks and boards (with a little ducky help):
Then, ta-da! Here’s the complete stand:
Although it looks crooked in the picture at the top, it’s actually very level and very stable.