Some people wonder how we move our bees: "Do you gather them up one by one
and put them in little cages?"
"Do you take each box and load it up somewhere?
That must take you forever and each of those boxes must be very heavy to lift!"
I tell them that after
assuring that the bees are healthy and happy, we smoke each entrance. Before picking the pallets up with the forklift,
we make sure that each pallet is "evened" out. In other words, it is easier to load a pallet with four hives
that are all the same height. Generally, we will do this a day or so before we go pick them
Some beekeepers load their bees using a truck with a boom that
swings out and lifts each hive onto the bed of the truck. It is very time-consuming and is best done by those
who don't have a large number of colonies. Having said this, I do know of a friend who has from 1,500 to
over 2,000 colonies of bees, who loads them using his "Boom Truck". "Wow!" That's all I can say.
I have never had the opportunity to load bees in this fashion,
however, Ed has. And, he learned that going to the extra expense and labor of building 4-way pallets and using a forklift
was better, at least, for him.
I think it's a good idea. Anything to make the job a little
easier: I'm all for that!
I can't imagine loading two hives at a time... swinging the boom
to the bed of the truck. And back and forth the process goes until all hives are loaded on the truck bed.
Man, the time that must take!
But, if a guy has one of the newer boom trucks, then having that "gift" makes this way
of loading hives a little easier.
Loading hives using a boom truck, seems "rough 'n tough" to
me. It definitely is executed by some beekeepers who I like to give the term as, "Hard Core". To
me, they go that extra "mile" in order to do their job. To Ed, he'd probably say, "It's all in a day's work."
Once loaded, we make sure that
the load is very well-secured. Since bees do not fly during the dark hours or when it is very
cold, we start loading them almost by nighttime.