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Thread: Wintering Nucs

  1. #181
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Another way is to let surplus bees look after surplus comb. If you adopt the nuc method of making increase successfully you will have bees-a-plenty.
    This fall I had a couple of production colonies that I did not allow to build up for wintering - I had harvested their honey - I let them sit on the combs until Nov 6th, and then I shook them out. There are no comb pests active up here at this time, and now I have 50 good brood combs sitting in my shed.
    It is wise to plan to have spare brood combs in the spring. I have been moving away from overwintering double 10 frame deeps to overwintering 5 over 5 frame nucs, with a few 5 over 5 over 5 framers thrown in.
    I will need those combs in the spring. I hope to sell a 1/3 or so of these, run 8-10 for honey, and then make increase with the rest. I bought no bees last year, not a single one.
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...tml?sort=6&o=8

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Looks like some type of pink bee fortress.

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I know. I'm a sucker for cheap paint and foamular.

  4. #184
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    2,061

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    how did that plastic green house with the dehumidifier work out?
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,271

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    It worked well. I pull supers one day then run the dehumidifier for 24-48 hrs, the honey is in the 16.5%-17.5% water range. It can be very humid here in the midwest in the summer.
    Last edited by Adrian Quiney WI; 12-02-2013 at 05:44 AM.

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    This is probably a dumb question but since i'm way down in the learning curve here goes.
    Can comb from honey production be used for brood comb after its been extracted?

    Thank all you experienced beeks for this info. Im like some of the others said, I cant wait til spring to try to apply some of this knowledge.

    Randy
    1 year 8 hives with more to come in 2014 T

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    It is my understanding that in some scenarios honey comb will be drawn too deep for brood rearing. However, for the most part the answer is yes, they can. It could be possible that the uncapping process would provide the proper depth. Hopefully someone can confirm this for both of us
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  8. #188
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    >Can comb from honey production be used for brood comb after its been extracted?

    People often do give it to the bees for brood. My only issue is, if it's natural comb (not from foundation) it often is larger for honey than they typically build in the brood nest for brood...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    If the cell size is proper the bees will make the debth what they need to for brood. They'll tear it down to use if they need to. When they fill the brood nest in the fall / summer with nectar / honey / sugar whatever they'll often draw the cells slightly deeper. Then come spring buildup as they use the stores they'll shrink the depth of the cells as is needed. Also if it's too thin they'll obviously draw it deeper.

  10. #190
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I see you move the nucs on top of more powerful hives or huddle them together.
    When exactly do you do this to prevent disoriented bees? I guess you do it after a few non-flying days; and again when do you put them back to the new Spring position?

    I've read in a Doolittle book that they placed the hives exactly in the same position after wintering them in the cellar.

    This looks tricky to me. Can you please post some details about this?
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  11. #191
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    When I used to move single story double nucs to the top of production hives, Webster Method, I made the move after the bees were done flying for the year…in November.

    I run all two story double nucs now, and leave them on their summer stands for winter.

  12. #192
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I run all two story double nucs now, and leave them on their summer stands for winter.
    I think in my climate I can easily get away with one box. I'm thinking on using a regular second box above excluders during the summer for giving them space and storage. In late August I will organize them in double singles... with God's will.

    Thanks
    Dfa (Humid continental warm summer climate)

  13. #193
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Milton, Vermont
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    MP, Hello from Milton Vermont.

    I am very new to bee keeping having just purchased my very first two packages and installed them into two hives just last Thursday. I understand what you are talking about when you talk about the negatives about purchasing package bee's so hence my question.

    Would you feel it it would be a good idea to "Sacrifice" both hives in late July and split them both entirely into X number of nucs to overwinter, introduce locally raised queens and essentially start next year with X hives of locally raised queens and locally overwintered bees?

  14. #194
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    If they build up well you might set up 2 nucs about July 1 by taking some brood and bees from each. It's difficult the first year because you have no comb.

  15. #195
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Guilford, NY
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    If they build up well you might set up 2 nucs about July 1 by taking some brood and bees from each. It's difficult the first year because you have no comb.
    I got my packages on 4/25 and the one that lived through the cold rainy spell at the end of April are building comb like crazy. I am using foundation-less deep frames and I added a frame on Monday and yesterday it was about 1/3 drawn out. I have a nice section of capped brood and some honey. I am limiting their space and increasing it one frame at a time but they seem to be happy and I am planning to re-queen with local queens this summer. I am hoping I will be able to split it into at least 3 nucleus colonies before fall. I suppose at the moment it doesn't hurt that I have a major flow. Things could change if we have some bad weather but I will take what I can get at the moment.

  16. #196
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I will be adding a third level to the double nuc setup this week. This is my 1st year using nucs, so the lack of comb is an issue. When I start to split the nucs- I was going to pull 1 frame of sealed brood, 1 frame of open brood, and 1 frame of honey. I'm hoping to split the 3 level nucs every 10-14 days as they rebuild until mid-July.
    Does that sound correct? I'm open to suggestions from others with more experience.
    Thanks, Rich

  17. #197
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Mtn-Bees I am eager to hear about how your splits went? I am going to be doing this next year without any drawn comb as well. I hope it went well.

  18. #198
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Things went ok. A huge learning curve. A couple of things I noted. Start earlier to allow more time to draw comb. Feed heavy. Consider rearing your own queens as local queens can be hard to come by and expensive. I had a 4:1 ratio of nucs I wanted to make up to brood factories. That was not enough resources, especially without drawn comb. I'm going use a 3:1 next year. Maybe even 2:1. Make sure you monitor varroa, especially in your brood factories. Varroa caused some set backs that I'm still trying to play catchup with. Leave your strong hives alone to produce honey. Break up your weak hives that are not going to produce. That was hard to do. Read everything you can on the subject and find someone to mentor you if you can.

  19. #199
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,282

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    I am in this same project. Something that I think helped me immensely was I ran deeps for supers and when I extracted used that wet comb to replace all the foundation still undrawn in those nucs. Hopefully it will be fed full soon when I would still have been struggling to get more foundation drawn. I am going out to pull the last of the supers off today and may use the unextracted frames for feed if it looks like I need to. I do not anticipate finding the former extracting combs not full of feed however. We have snow forecast Thursday but I still think I have a month to get the nucs up to weight.

  20. #200
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Wintering Nucs

    Thabks for the response Mtn. Luckily as of yet I don't have any Varroa so knock on wood. How many nucs were you able to make off of a brood factory using only foundation?

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