PROBLEM with transferring bees from nuc to hive
So I finally received my beginner's kit and went about today transferring my bees from a cardboard nuc box to a brand new hive. And so here is the problem... I had my marker and went about frame by frame trying to locate the queen... I could not find her anywhere... when I transferred all the frames into the new hive, I looked thru the cardboard nuc trying to see if she was still there... surprisingly, there was a few crevices that she could have hidden in... I opened all of them up, shook the box, and dumped the remaining bees into the hive... HOWEVER, is there a possibility that I somehow lost her? Bees were everywhere.....! On the ground, on the box, on the new hive... These are Carniolans, so I know they're darker and harder to locate... Can I check back in a week to see if there are eggs in the new frames?
---- Any advice!?
I am just a 2nd year keeper but, I think that checking back in a week and looking for eggs and small larva is a good plan. Additional searches for the queen at this point just keeps them from settling down. By the way I use a magnifying glass to see the eggs. However I would check around the hive to make sure the queen didn't fall out and get squished on the ground. As mentioned on many threads on this forum queens are sometimes hard to spot unless, you are not looking for her. I would bet she is in the hive, but let us know what you find on the next check.
If it was a good 5 frame nuc witha laying queen she is probly in the hive. I would be concerned about getting them built up. It is awful late in the year to be transfering a nuc into 10 frame equipment up north. And still get them thru the winter. It surprises me you was even able to find a nuc this late
Those cardboard nucs have a lot of hiding places in them. If you haven't already found her, you could set it above the inner cover inverted. If she's in there, she should move down to be with the rest of the bees. Alternatively, set the nuc nearby to see if any bees collect there indicating that she's still there.
When you look for her again in a week or so, pay close attention to the frames with eggs. She should be in that area.
I agree with riverrat.I would watch and see if they are bringing in pollen,this is a good sign the queen is present,after a week when I take the frames out, if the bees go about their buisness [not running]and eggs are their I wouldn!t worry about finding the queen.If they are noisy and running on the frame and somewhat aggressive,I would double check for the queen.You may have to combine being this late in the year and feed 2 to 1 syurp heavy.Good luck.
Chances are you just missed her. I agree... look for brood in a couple weeks...
Thanks guys! I will do a check for her next Wednesday... and i have been feeding like mad, sugar water, pollen patties.... they are still bringing in pollen and I've approached the hive. They are fairly calm, so I'm guessing she's somewhere in there!
I agree with riverrat - most of us northerners are wrapping up the season and beginning preparations for wintering our hives. Seems irresponsible to sell a nuc to a beginner at this late date. Your gonna have to feed, feed, feed, and hope for the best.
Originally Posted by riverrat
"I agree with 'riverrat' - most of us northerners are wrapping [did you say,. wrapping?,.lol. OB.] up the season and beginning preparations for wintering our hives. Seems irresponsable to sell a nuc to a beginner at this late date". - indypartridge.
indypartridge! MedDoc2B wants to try and overwinter this,...'hive?? in a garage in the 'windy city' of Chicago,.. I think.
MedDoc2B: "So I finally received my beginner's kit and went about today [Sept. 1, 08] transferring my bees from a cardboard nuc box to a brand new hive".
Is that beginners kit made up with wax foundation?? If it is, the bees will be hard-pressed to draw it out at this time of year, no matter how much you feed, feed. Honey bees need the warming temperatures and DESIRE to raise brood and collect nectar/pollen during late April, to late July in the Midwest to make new comb. The temperatures in the Midwest now are approaching low 40's-50's at night and low 70's-80's during the day; kind of cool for drawing out foundation; and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter,....by the minute.
Are you going to take these bees to sunny Florida for a winter,.. 'vacation'? That might work!! If not,...'invest' in an observation hive for the winter and watch them in your house if you want to; they might survive till the spring! Ask your nuc supplier if they have any drawn combs for that; it would be better.
Your question about the queen: OK, the only time I saw the queen outside a hive/nuc was when I was also putting a nuc into a regular hive. The queen was on the bottom board, but fortunately, she,.. 'walked right in,...set herself down',..baby, that was 'cool'; beekeeper,..let your mind roll on.
Last edited by Oldbee; 09-04-2008 at 06:51 PM.
Not meaning to nitpick, but bees bringing in pollen indicates only one thing: That the bees are bringing in pollen. Period. I can show you three queenless hives that are getting packed out in goldenrod pollen right now.
Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm
LACK of bees bringing in pollen during a "pollen flow" COULD be an indicator of a problem. But, bees bringing in pollen means little.
On another note, I don't think it's exactly too late to purchase a nuc, even for us here in the Midwest. Personally, I like to have 2 FULL brood cycles of bees before going into winter. Roughly, that will mean that the second cycle of brood will be out and able to forage around the first week of November, or so. Now, historically, we're still getting some warm days around that time. But, are you a betting person? Most of the forage will be dried up by then, so count of feeding heavily. Wax production (drawing out foundation sheets) will also be dependent on temperatures and carbohydrate consumption, so needless to say, they're best chance of survival would be to provide them previously drawn foundation. Second best chance would be to, again, feed heavily.
As a side note, was it irresponsible to have sold this nuc at this time of year? I like to think that we're not yet to the point that buyers of bugs need to be protected from themselves, and sellers of bugs need to be regulated like that. Common sense, education, desire and the ability to purchase should be the rule here. But, that's probably a Tailgater topic, isn't it?
Transferring nuc to a hive
BigDaddysDS,Bees collect pollen for a purpose[survival]they are feeding brood or they are preparing for brood to come.They don!t do things for fun or profit like humans.You have three queenless hives that were packing in goldenrod pollen?you didn!t say if they had brood,queen cells,a laying worker or maybe a virgin queen.I have acres of goldenrod around my farm but yet to see a bee on it.So nothing is abolutely right or wrong with bees.I only said this could be an indication that a queen was present along with other signs.As to selling a nuc to someone new to beekeeping in sept. without being a mentor or them having a mentor is irresponsible.I know some beekeepers who will do anything for a buck like selling a nuc with an old queen or no queen and tell the new beekeeper he must have done somethig wrong in hopes of selling him another one.We need to encourage and help new beekeepers not discourage them.One thing you and I seem to have in common,we have our own opinion of things.[what beekeeper doesn!t]now lay it on me BigDaddy.