View Full Version : How to feed a Nuc
06-10-2006, 07:14 AM
I recently rec'd a a five frame NUC delivery kind of late but... (long story) I was told by the supplier to leave it in the Nuc (7 days)in its permanent location with the bottom entrance opened which I have done. I was also told to feed. All I have right now is the hive top feeder for the hive it will be placed in. That will not work. How do i feed these girls for the next several days? Any ideas for a feeder that will not set off a robbing frenzy . Only need it for 5-7 more days. An open container of syrup is surely a bad idea, especially since I have two other hives 5' and 10' from the new location. Can I construct something simple to utilize short term ??
06-10-2006, 09:08 AM
You can put a empty box on top of the nuc and put baggies with slits in them or mason jars with holes punched in the lids.
06-10-2006, 10:37 AM
Empty box? The nuc is so much smaller. You mean remove the NUC cover and add another chamber/box like with a hive? How is it configured bc I can't envision it.
Why do you have to keep them in the NUC? I just hived 7 NUCS and I did leave them in overnight but that was because I wasn't going to try and hive bees at midnight!!
I have never left them in a NUC for more than overnight.
I would hive them ASAP.
06-10-2006, 12:46 PM
I solved this short term today. I removed the cover and placed my eight frame hive top feeder on top of the Nuc. I placed a popsicle stick shim on the rear wall of the NUC so the bees would have enough space to crawl over the tops of the frames which were very close to the top of the NUC walls/feeder bottom. Eight frame feeder and cover on five frame NUC looks like a Capital "T"
Jeff,I don't know why the supplier said to keep them in the NUC for 7 days but newbee that I am I just do as i am told.
06-10-2006, 12:52 PM
Are you sure robbers can't get into the feeder? That's what I'd be worried about.
06-10-2006, 02:10 PM
I question if they just released a queen in this nuc? Should have been done and checked before you recieved. But that is water under the bridge.
If you have a honey flow on really no need to feed.
OR you can just poor sugar in usually across the back end bars is a good place. If they have access to water which they must. They will eat the sugar if they have to.
06-10-2006, 04:53 PM
Bee robbers can't get in. Smaller bugs like ants probably could bc the popsicle stick creates a very thin opening on the rear of the hive where I put it. I watched bees from the nuc try to get in under the feeder instead of the Nuc entrance bc they smelled the syrup. I'll transfer to the hive mid week and the hive top will fit perfect on the brood chamber as the frames are not as close to the top. I have hive top feeders on two other hives and no robbing, only a few drowned bees inside. But not many.
Question I have is; Is this too late to start a new NUC and expect honey this fall? If not then hopefull it can build up enough to survive the winter and produce next yr.
06-10-2006, 08:10 PM
In a flow I woulnd't feed. When I do feed, I prefer combs of capped honey from strong hives. smile.gif
06-11-2006, 06:32 AM
> In a flow I woulnd't feed. When I do feed, I
> prefer combs of capped honey from strong hives.
Once again - "fear of feeding". smile.gif
Feeding frames of honey creates a
not-insignificant risk of spreading foulbrood.
(As does any movement of frames between colonies.)
Given the resources required to draw comb, and
the usual lack of available drawn comb in most
operations to make life easier for nucs and
splits, I'd hazard a guess that the empty drawn
comb from an extracted frame would be of more
value to the colony than it would be as a "frame
of honey". An empty frame would allow more eggs
to be laid over the short term, which would allow
the colony to build up that much faster. (There's
still a foulbrood risk here, but less than
moving a frame of honey between colonies.)
Sure a flow helps, but one might as well focus
on building up a strong colony for fall, drawing
comb, and forget about a harvestable crop this
season, moreso when the nuc or package is "late".
When I make splits, feeders go on, and stay on.
The bees can decide when they want to take the
feed. I've never seen zero bees up in the feeder
when I've checked them, so the obvious conclusion
is that at least some of the "foraging force"
likes the shorter commute to the feeder.
Dogma is never a good way to address bee behavior.
Sure, feeding can seem to be "overkill" on some
days, and the bees may well find a better source
of groceries on actual blooms. But if you want
comb drawn, brood raised, and a nice fat colony
that is ready to overwinter, you have to admit
that it is going to take most, if not all of the
season, and that you need to jump-start the
process with some ready-to-eat "nectar". Frames
of honey need to be diluted before they can be
used, and water foragers are ALSO in short supply
in a less-than full-strength colony.
Honey is merely what WE like.
Bees like nectar.
Honey is "canned goods", "MREs", or "C-Rations"
06-11-2006, 08:31 AM
Thanks Jim - interesting to hear your perspective. Think I'll throw some feeders back on my nucs smile.gif