Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default Northern Nucs Follow-up

    Before winter, there were several threads about overwintering nucs in the north. Below is a pict of a nuc being checked in July and pictures of two of the nucs earlier this week. Of the 30+ nucs I started last July, I lost only one this winter. I learned a lot again this year (again). The one that I lost starved out because the queen started laying during a warm spell in January. Almost all of them started in July expanded to fill 5-8 frames and were able to get heavy on the bamboo flow here in early September. All in all it's been a very good bee winter so far - but April is usually a pretty harsh month - Fingers crossed!

    http://www.merrilland.net/nucs06.JPG

    http://www.merrilland.net/HPIM1746.JPG

    http://www.merrilland.net/HPIM1749.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Good job, Kurt!

    29 out of 30 is really great for overwintering nucs.

    Did you winter them over above strong colonies, or perhaps grouped together, ...or just individually?

    Looks like you've given them some granulated sugar. Did you give that to them back in Jan. or so?

    Thanks for posting the pics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,860

    Default Can you call eight frames a nuc?

    Thats a single brood chamber hive to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    I agree with Oddfrank. What is the working definition of a nuc?
    That said, good job getting so many hives through winter Kameril

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default

    I tend to call anything less than 9 frames a nuc but yes, the ones pictured are single deeps. I guess in my mind I have this group of hives classified as "the nucs" since they were all started as a batch last July with 2 frames of brood and a frame of honey. Most of "the nucs" are 5 frames and 6 (like in the pictures) expanded to 8 frames before winter.

    I put candy on all of them in March during the warm spell. They were all wintered above double deeps, some were wraped and some were not. All had top insulation.
    Last edited by kamerrill; 03-31-2007 at 08:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kamerrill View Post
    I tend to call anything less than 9 frames a nuc but yes, the ones pictured are single deeps. I guess in my mind I have this group of hives classified as "the nucs" since they were all started as a batch last July with 2 frames of brood and a frame of honey.
    I don't think the definition police are going to give you a hard time on this. Technically I guess anything less than a full-sized colony is a "nucleus" colony. Glad you had success. As for my nucs, I wintered 2 single 10 frame deeps OK but lost 3 of 4 4-frame nucs- not sure what the problem was but I think 2 of them went queenless over the winter. It was my first attempt wintering nucs so I'm not disappointed.

    I liked the singles- they were less overall work than the 4 framers, wintered better, and have built up quickly this spring. They don't look much different from some of my double deep hives. I'm going to continue to experiment with both singles and smaller nucs this year.

    Now, if it would just warm up! My bees have been turning over my compost heap on warmer afternoons recently, but they're really anxious for some ordinary bee forage.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default

    >Technically I guess anything less than a full-sized colony is a "nucleus" colony

    That would be my definition. Since two ten frame deeps or three ten frame mediums is a typical hive going into winter here, I'd call that a nuc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    What would you call a overwintered hive that this time of the year is covering only tre frames, not a nuc?

    I think a nuc is a new split or a overwintered one, less that full frame equipment (10 or 8) that have never seen the full frame equipment.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default

    We run singles except in the spring to build up for making nucs. I guess my definition on wintering nucs would be based on whether the hive was a split designed to winter as a nuc as opposed to a hive that was broken down into a single and run in a standard "nuc" configuration such as 4 frame or 5 frame. I would consider kams configuration as nucs as well.

    We did several late season splits and wintered them in different equipment including wooden, cardboard and styrafoam 5 frame boxes. The stryrafoam blew everything else out of the water, including wintered hives.

    29 out of 30 is exceptional results. Perhaps Kam could share his process of making up his nucs as well as timing, treatments, strain and feed. I'm curious to know what the percentage of standard hive survival was and how many of the "underwintered colonies" colonies under nucs died?

    Nice pics, thanks for sharing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Default

    Joel - did you use the styrofoam in the SC location, or up north?

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    I would say a nucleus is any split that has all the genetic makup of the mother colony and contains everything needed to grow into its own colony....Anything less than 10 frames total.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    426

    Default

    My definition of a nuc has little to do with the number of frames the colony has, but rather what was the purpose of the split or colony. If the colony was a honey producer last season, I consider it an overwintered hive -- it has paid for itself. If I make a split for the sole purpose of honey production next year -- I call this a nuc. If it doesn't make it through the winter, I've gained nothing.

    Most of my nucs are wintered in 10 frame singles, however a lot of them will not be using all the frames in fall. Spring work requires less transferring of frames and having young queens, they will often fill a single very quickly.

    I guess I would call a spring split that I am selling to someone else as a three or four frame colony a nuc as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Nucs or not, you've obviously done very well in your management of the hives. Great photos, and a great job on your part. Congratulations on your success.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default

    KG-used the styrafoam in NY. Can't believe how well they did in comparison to everything else.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default

    >Perhaps Kam could share his process of making up his nucs as well as timing, treatments, strain and feed. I'm curious to know what the percentage of standard hive survival was and how many of the "underwintered colonies" colonies under nucs died?<

    Let's see, where to start. I am pretty much mirroring some of the things that M Palmer and K webster are doing over in VT. I identified non-productive colonies to divide in late June early July. I split these colonies up into nucs (2 frames of brood, 1 honey/pollen and an empty frame of either foundation or drawn comb. I filled a division board feeder with 1:1. I use a 10 frame box with a two chamber division board feeder. The two nucs are sealed from each other with a gain bag. As they expanded I either added a deep on top (with a divider board) or I expanded the colonies into 6-8 frames horizontally (horizontally works much better for me).

    Before this, I identified queens that have survived two winters, were good producers, and gentle. All of my queens are of NWC lineage. I use the nicot system, isolated the chosen queens into the box for laying and.....

    I introduced the queens into the nucs after leaving them queenless for 24 hours or so. I checked back later to examine the queens and ensure they were laying good patterns. The ones that were not laying well were culled and the nucs given another queen or combined. I allowed the nucs to grow throughout the summer. I only filled the feeder once when I made the split and they were able to fatten-up on the bamboo flow the first week of September (we get a big flow here in the Upper River Valley). None of the nucs were treated although the parent colonies were treated with formic in late April early May and then drone comb was removed on a cycle until the splits were made.

    The nucs were then placed above full sized double deeps that had the inner cover turned upside down with hole exposed. The on top of the grain bag inner cover of the nuc was placed some 2" insulation and a full sized industrial bread/baking pan cover. I wrapped half of them with felt paper and the other half I left unwraped. "Under" wintered colonies - 2 died. Full colonies that wre not "under wintered" (20) - I also lost 2. They all starved in early feb. The queens had started laying in Jan during the warm spell.

    I didn't feed anything until the warm spell in early March when I put some sugar candy on all of the coloinies and made quick re-arrangements if it made sense. I then placed liquid 1:1 and a pollen patty in each nuc at the end of March. I'll check mite levels here in late April/May and determine if I am going to treat the nucs - full sized colonies and single deeps will probaby get formic.

    take care,
    Kurt
    Last edited by kamerrill; 04-04-2007 at 09:51 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Thanks, Kurt, for sharing the details about your overwintering methods for nucs. I'm across the River and a little south of you, and I noticed a good flow from the Japanese Knotweed (bamboo), too.
    That's a clever idea with the 2" insulation with bread pan cover.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default

    My thanks as well Kurt. You had a well thought out plan, I'll add this to my notebook. Keep us posted on your efforts, successed and failures on this.
    Mike's post last fall was great, it's nice to see you have been able to do it so well.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    Posts
    147

    Default

    >That's a clever idea with the 2" insulation with bread pan cover.<

    Used bread pans (the "industrial" kind used in restaurants, schools, etc..) make great tops. They are also great honey house drip pans or I use them in the back of the truck to load sticky supers onto which is why I bought some in the first place. They are pretty cheap - like $1-$2 each for beat-up, crusty ones. Some that are in better shape run around $5 each. Used kitchen supply places usually have stacks of them. It's a great re-use of the pans.

    Instead of the 2" insulation also experimented with a few insulated covers. I used the design that was in the April 2006 ABJ, p. 315. I used a bunch of cut-down shallow supers that I was getting rid of. But instead of filling the box with foam insulation, I filled it with demo'd fiberglass R-19 that I had laying around. On the underside of the cover I dadoed two ventilation holes on the sides (his design is for a single deep rather than two nucs thus needing only one vent/upper entrance). I thought that the insulated covers were the cats meow! They did a really, really nice job with handling moisture.

    take care,

    Kurt
    Last edited by kamerrill; 04-05-2007 at 07:50 PM.

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