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Securing Bee Hives for Transit

There are many methods

Most beekeepers have tales to tell about hives coming apart or moving during transit, usually because of inadequate fixing. Most of these can be overcome with a bit of common sense.

Having moved colonies many thousands of times, I have a little experience of what works reliably and what may not. For many years, I used polypropylene baler twine. I put a loop in one end, then placed it around the hive and secured loosely, using a twig as a turnkey to tighten it up. This worked very well and I can't remember having any problems. The twine was free, durable and more importantly was strong and didn't stretch. This has now been replaced with toggle type hive straps, that I think are excellent.

Other items that require fixing to the hive are often used, but I have never used them on my own hives. I have seen problems, or what I see as problems with all of them, although I will mention them, if only because Dave Cushman left references to them. Toggle fasteners and "Z" springs are sold by appliance dealers and can be accessed from the buttons on the top left. To make the toggle fasteners work well, all parts need to be positioned very accurately, otherwise they are either too loose or won't work. The "Z" springs are a little less fussy. Dave Cushman was a strong advocate of "Z" springs. In the past, hive staples were used, but these were only crate staples used for a different purpose. They damaged hives if they were moved a lot and I only see them used by older beekeepers these days. Triangles are still sold, but like staples, they are permanent and time consuming to fix. Lockslides were once quite common, but are no longer popular. All of these result in holes made in the hives which causes damage, so I avoid using them. As they are, or can be, permanent, they may be an advantage in out apiaries where they may hold hives together if pushed over by animals or vandals.

Originally written by Dave Cushman. Rewritten by Roger Patterson.

Page created Summer 2000

Page updated 28/11/2022