Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 212

Thread: Wintering Nucs

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Adrian- I used my limited carpentry skills to make a bunch of 5 frame boxes and am planning on wintering them as 2 story 5 frame nucs. When you are pushing them together will you be sharing a cover of any sort for winter? I definitely think that there is more money in selling bees than in selling honey but I have not overwintered nucs in the past to know of an average survival rate. I always thought we could not sustain nucs in northern winters but I am eager to see what this winter brings with my 10 or so nucs. First year I am actually looking forward to winter!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Mosherd, I am a believer in upper entrances for winter. My plan is to use feedbag inner covers (fbic) and then above that a piece of 2 inch closed cell foam insulation. I am thinking of cutting a notch in that foam and then lining that notch with a little wood so that the bees can't get at the foam. This exit will be at the front of each nuc. Above the foam I will add the migratory style wooden cover I have on the nucs at present. I will probably wrap the hives after thanksgiving to seal off any drafts due to poor wood to wood fitting caused by my rudimentary woodworking. I am more confident checking the bees if they are in individual boxes. I don't like having to lift the cover of both to see one.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Mosherd, your logic seems correct. Is the answer in economics? If you break up those strong colonies - would the income lost from the fall flow not gathered by those colonies be outweighed by the potential sale of overwintered nucs and replacement bee costs not incurred in the spring? Since this thread was started in 2007 I understand that Mike has been selling more bees. I wonder if he is at the stage of sacrificing honey-making potential for nuc making potential.
    I've been meaning to post something on what I'vbe been doing this summer...and how I've been using my nucs.

    I keep bees in a good honey producing area. My average is about 100lbs. Last year I produced 38T of honey...both extracted and comb. I don't believe I could make that income if I split up all my production hives into nucs. That said, I might think differently if I were keeping bees in a nmarginal honey production area.

    That's why I have said to nuc non-producing colonies that are otherwise healthy. Then I'm putting the bee resources to the best use. But, I'm still sacrificing production colonies. What happens if my production colonies take a hit? I can see a scenario where nucing production colonies would not be the right way to go. Since my focus in the last few years has been to develop a sustainable apiary, I have been changing my direction a bit.

    Rather than thinking of every nuc as a future production colony, I look for other uses. The key is to raise so many nucs that you have a large number of strong healthy nucs that will build up..either is 10 frame equipment or in 3 story nuc boxes. These are handled as brood factories. Brood is harvested on a regular schedule, leavbing the nuc strong enough to rebuild their broodnest quickly onto the empty combs added above.

    So, I held back about 50 nucs, and allowed them to build into 3 story nucs. I began my cell building on May 9. Brood was harvested and added above an excluder on strong colonies. Each cell builder was given a box containing 2 frames of honey and 7 frames of brood. 10 days later the graft was added. 10 days later the cells were harvested, and the cell building colony was again set up as a cell builder...once again adding 2 frames aof honey and 7 frames of brood. The result...fantastic cells full of jelly when they were ready to give to nucs.

    I continued to harvest brood from my factories until cell building was finished...actually just finished setting up new cell builders on the Fourth. At that point, I began splitting up the brood factory nucs into new nucs for wintering this year....harvesting the queen and giving the new nucs a queen from this year.

    My focus is sustainability. Using nucs to make more nucs does just that. Manage the production colonies for maximum production and allow your nuc making operation to support your nuc making operation. So far, from my overwintered nucs, I have stocked 49 cell builders and now produced some 250 new nucs...all without touching any production colonies.

    Does this all make sense to you?

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Mike- That's a great clarification of what you are doing now. Makes perfect sense. I'm in one of those marginal flow areas. Most years it comes to a screeching halt around mid to late June. This year we are getting some rain so the bees are maintaining, at least for now.

    When you add brood to the cell builder, is it mostly open brood or capped?

    Thanks, Richard
    Last edited by rkereid; 07-10-2011 at 09:21 AM.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,827

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    See Bob Hack for some ideas on wintering nucs. Search around on his web site and watch the videos. Good ideas that dovetail with Mike's.

    http://www.bobhackbees.com/starting-nucs.html

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,205

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Mike, it makes sense. It will make even more sense when the kids are asleep and I can read it again. Thanks for letting us know what you are up to.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,026

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Jeez, Mike, just when I thought I had your old system figured out...

    This is like the switch from DOS to Windows.

    Wayne

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Sealed brood.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    Jeez, Mike, just when I thought I had your old system figured out... This is like the switch from DOS to Windows.
    Ha!!
    having learned DOS first.. i find that it makes all computing easier. But seriously, it is just a slight turn not a huge shift. Nucs are great brood builders. When I first started making them a few years ago, I made some in may and did exactly this, raised brood from them. Made nucs from more nucs, etc. Now I too have raised a few queens in nucs.
    karla

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,026

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Karla, have you ever used the pipe key | since Windows came along?

    Mel Disselkoen's system of nucs is also based on the premise of using overwintered nucs to raise more nucs.

    Wayne

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, Vermont
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    [QUOTE=Michael Palmer;683243]My focus is sustainability. Using nucs to make more nucs does just that. Manage the production colonies for maximum production and allow your nuc making operation to support your nuc making operation.

    Mike,
    I've been doing the very same thing this year, using a few of my overwintered nucs for brood factories. With somewhat limited bee resources and not wanting to reduce the population of my production hives, I decided in the spring to keep a few nucs around for this purpose. I allowed them to build up to 3 stories and then started pulling brood for various applicatinns. The nucs have proven to be a very useful resource in creating cell builders, mating nucs and my next generation of overwintered nucs.

    For those who haven't tried it, I would give it a try, those overwintered nucs are extremely valuable for many reasons. Not only do the nucs churn out the brood, but they are beautiful comb builders too.

    Michael

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I had a mean hive that I was having trouble finding the queen, but she was an egg laying machine. Just kept pulling frames of brood and making nucs with new queen cells. Got new colonies started and kept the mean hive population down to manageable numbers

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I did my last graft of the Summer today and plan on putting those cells into their nucs sometime around the 25th of July. Of course they will need to mate and start laying, putting us at early August. Then 21 days after that is the 3rd or 4th week of August before the first cycle of brood hatches out. My question is that I want to overwinter each nuc in two 5 frame deep nuc boxes stacked on top of each other. Should there be enough time for them to manage this before winter assuming I will be starting the nucs with 2 frames with brood on it? Should I do 3 frames of brood?

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    In Vermont, I wouldn't think they'd build up into two stories. Maybe CT is different, but I'd winter them one story. Three frames of brood would help.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Good to know. I am curious what the difference in climate is between northern VT and northern CT. I have some extra frames of honey that I can load up in the 2nd story to cut down on feed if I need to. I will definitely give 3 frames of brood and maybe some extra shakes also. Thanks for your advice.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cresco Iowa
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    WOW! This thread is just what I have been looking for. Thanks to all for the great info and though provoking questions. And especially to Michael for all of the time he has obviously put into this.
    I am at the point in my beekeeping where I'm either going to stay small, 8-10 hives, or go gangbusters. I've really been looking hard at overwintering practices and minimizing losses. All of what you folks are discussing is very timely.
    Thanks again.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    East Windsor, CT
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Is the main advantage to wintering a 4 frame nuc instead of 5 frame because of putting the feeder in between the 2 nucs in a standard 10 frame deep?

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Michael Palmer, what percent of nucs do you have going into winter as single story versus two or three story nucs ?

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Heres something i noticed . I have a friend that wrapped a hive with foam last season...it was the only one to make it through the winter ..its still wrapped in foam...my point being...it had no bees bearding ...where mine is ...the insulation keeps a steady temp.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Over the years, all have been single story. Two summers ago I tried a few two story and liked it. Last summer it was about 50/50. This year I'm making all 2 story...going into winter with 350+ two story.

Page 4 of 11 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads