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Thread: Nucs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    West Harrison, NY, USA
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    I understand little about how to use nucs, but one use I have some understanding of is to raise queens without raising whole new hives. For this, one possibility is to start a small split in a nuc and keep it on another strong hive for warmth separated by a double screen board. Now, the plans shown in the Build It section of this site for the double screen board (http://www.beesource.com/plans/screenboard.htm) show cut outs that run along the 16 1/4" side of it.
    Question: Would it make sense (or why wouldn't it) to build a double screen board with aprox 5 1/4" wide cutouts that run along the long side (19 7/8") and then to build 4 frame nucs that are 8 3/8" wide to be placed 2 at a time over the double screen board (with the side openings all closed of course for the purpose of raising splits this way)?
    A second question is: why do the double screen boards need screen on both sides of the cutouts?

    Jorge

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Question: Would it make sense (or why wouldn't it) to build a double screen board with aprox 5 1/4" wide cutouts that run along the long side (19 7/8") and then to build 4 frame nucs that are 8 3/8" wide to be placed 2 at a time over the double screen board (with the side openings all closed of course for the purpose of raising splits this way)?

    Sure, but I have built such an arrangment, but at the begining of summer, when I usually am doing splits, it seems unessecarry.

    >A second question is: why do the double screen boards need screen on both sides of the cutouts?

    Because the bees will fight trhough the screen if there is only one screen.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2002
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    West Harrison, NY, USA
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    Hi Michael,

    Why unnecessary? Because the heat is not necessary? What if you want to raise only a couple of queens for later requeening in stincking weather loke we are having now?

    JOrge

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    The double screen would be most useful in the early spring when the nuc has trouble heating itself. Part of the reason for the nuc is so they don't have so much room to heat. But you coudl put them on a double screen if you want. I don't think it will hurt them any.

    If the weather is cold all the time, sure it will help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nucs. I recommend having at least a couple of nucs for a beginner. The are so useful for starting hives and rearing queens and keeping a spare queen. Since I also recommend mediums for everything, I'll point out that you can buy medium nucs from Brushy Mt Bee Farm. I don’t know of anyone else who has them, but a deep nuc could be cut down also. You can make your own if you’re handy with wood. I find an attached bottom board and a migratory cover are adequate for a nuc and simplify moving and managing them.

    What Nucs are good for:

    Splits. You can put a frame of brood with eggs a frame of emerging brood a couple of frames of honey and pollen and put them in a nuc and shake another frame or two of bees from some brood in and the bees will raise a queen and you will have a new hive. When they fill the nuc, move them to a standard box.

    Artificial swarm. If the bees are trying to swarm, do as above except add the old queen to the nuc and take out all but one or two of the swarm cells in the hive.

    Making queens from swarm cells. As above you can do a split to get them to make a queen, but also when they are trying to swarm you can as in the first (splits) and put a queen cell in each nuc with the brood and honey and bees and they will raise the queen and you can use them for requeening or selling or whatever you like. Of course you can also do queen rearing to get the cells to put in. If you have multiple queen cells you can cut some off and put them in nucs.

    Keeping a backup queen. When you requeen take some of those old queens and put them in nucs with a frame of brood and honey and if the new queen gets rejected you still have a spare. Also, if you just keep a nuc with a queen in it for a spare, you can requeen a hive with that queen. To keep it week, keep taking sealed brood out and giving to other hives.

    Foolproof requeening. If you do as in the first (splits) and put a caged queen in the nurse bees will quickly accept the queen. After she is laying you can kill the queen in the hive to be requeened and do a newspaper combine. Bees readily accept a laying queen.

    Queen bank. I built a shim that is the size of a hive but ¾” thick and put queen cages with the wire down to keep them for several days or weeks before introducing them.

    Comb building. This is especially nice with regressed bees. Since the problem with 4.9mm foundation isn’t getting the bees to use the cells, it’s getting unnatural large bees to BUILD the cells. If you start a nuc with small bees as in the first (splits) and after it’s established, put frames with 4.9mm foundation in the 1,2,4 and 5 position. Feed it well and remove some drawn frames everyday. If there are eggs, put it in another colony to let them emerge and then steal the frame. Keep 3 or 4 pounds of bees in the nuc.

    Swarm catching. Nucs are nice for hiving small swarms.

    Bait hives. Nucs are nice for bait hives for swarms. You could use a 10 frame box and that is a nice size too, but is harder to attach in a tree and for best results they need to be 10 feet or so up a tree.

    Shaken swarms. You can put a screen bottom on the nuc and shake bees from brood frames from several hives (being careful NOT to get a queen) and you have a bunch of homeless queenless bees. These can be put in hive with some brood so they can raise one or added to a nuc with a caged queen.

    Transporting honey. Nucs are nice and light even with five frames of honey, compared to a ten frame box. Nice for putting frames in as you brush off the bees to harvest and nice to carry around.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
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    Michael,

    thanks again for all this information. The summary on the different ways to use a nuc is wonderful.

    Jorge

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