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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Menominee, MI, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default g) How do you install a nuc?

    We've decided to purchase medium hive/supers 5 frame nucs with carniolan queens. I have been reading and surfing alot and have seen plenty of instructions and even videos on how to install bee packages. However, I have seen very little on how to install nucs.

    I know it is probably a silly sounding question. I'm sure it is as simple as placing the frames in your hive. But I have never handled bees and am interested in details. Like.... do I smoke them, should we leave them in the nuc box for awhile close to the hives, what order do we remove the frames from the nuc....Etc.

    We will be picking them up and transporting them about 7 hours. What is the best way to transport them in a minivan?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    In His Peace,
    Fred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Yooper View Post
    I know it is probably a silly sounding question. I'm sure it is as simple as placing the frames in your hive. But I have never handled bees and am interested in details. Like.... do I smoke them, should we leave them in the nuc box for awhile close to the hives, what order do we remove the frames from the nuc....Etc.
    For me I like to keep the frames in the order they were
    in the Nuc. Unless they are boiling over. Then I will put
    some empty comb between a couple frames of brood.


    Quote Originally Posted by Da Yooper View Post
    I We will be picking them up and transporting them about 7 hours. What is the best way to transport them in a minivan?
    Very carefully!!! Seriously, strap them shut or duct tape. And
    make sure the entrance is tightly screened in (I use staples)
    Keep them ventilated and the van on the cool side.

    My first Nuc's (15 or 20) were hauled in the back of
    my Subaru Legacy wagon. Lots of buzzing!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    And Feed them.
    Most likely you will ad 5 more frames with foundation, that is why you should feed them.


    Good luck Gilman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default

    I agree with sundance. I would have a smoker lit and handy just in case. I like to use 1 to 1 sugar syurp in a spray bottle, place your hive in the location you want it,set the nuc next to the hive,crack the lid enough to spray some syurp on the top bars,if they don't act agressive,take the lid off and transfer working slowly,starting from one side and take the frames out working to the other side of the nuc,and placing the frames in the middle of the hive.If they get a little hot you can use your smoker,but don't over do it.While taking the frames out of the nuc look for the queen and if you find her make sure you don't mash her when you put the frame she's on in the hive.After you remove all the frames from the nuc,there will be alot of bees still in the nuc,just lay the nuc on the ground in front of the hive entrance and put the lid on the hive and leave them alone for a week or ten days,then give them a look, to see if they are drawing comb and the queen is laying good. One other thing,if you are going to use med. supers for your hives make sure your nuc's are med. frames or you will have a problem. Hope this helps. Jack

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Menominee, MI, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm View Post
    I agree with sundance. I would have a smoker lit and handy just in case. I like to use 1 to 1 sugar syurp in a spray bottle, place your hive in the location you want it,set the nuc next to the hive,crack the lid enough to spray some syurp on the top bars,
    Should I also spray some of the sugar syrup on the foundation of the 5 frames that are in the new hive? I think I read somewhere along the line that this might "encourage" them to draw comb on new foundation.

    While taking the frames out of the nuc look for the queen and if you find her make sure you don't mash her when you put the frame she's on in the hive.
    Do think I should leave out a new frame or two so I can place the nuc frames in spread out a little. And after the nuc frames are in I can then slowly slide them together and then add the new frames to the outside. Seems like I would have less of a chance of "rolling" the queen doing this. I don't know if this makes sense or not....

    One other thing,if you are going to use med. supers for your hives make sure your nuc's are med. frames or you will have a problem. Hope this helps. Jack
    I ordered our nucs from David at Long Lane Honey Farms this morning. He is building us medium size nucs.

    Thanks for the detailed post Jack. This is exactly what I am looking for.

    Have a great weekend.

    Fred

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Menominee, MI, USA
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sundance View Post
    Very carefully!!! Seriously, strap them shut or duct tape. And
    make sure the entrance is tightly screened in (I use staples)
    Keep them ventilated and the van on the cool side.
    I'll bee sure to take along some straps and secure them well. I don't want my first close encounter with them to be in our van while trying to navigate Chicago traffic!!! Thanks for the advice.

    Fred

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Moving bees

    Fred,
    Welcome to beekeeping.
    When I have to screen the entrance I use 1/8" hardware cloth.
    Have a safe trip.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,960

    Default

    I don't know if these are newly made up nucs or overwintered ones. If you take the lid off and the frames will easily slide back and forth it is a newly made up nuc. If you have made up your new boxes and frames you may have noticed that there seems to be a lot of extra room for the frames. By the end of the summer you will probably be wondering how your box shrunk because your frames will barely fit.

    When I open a full sized hive I normally don't take out the end frame. The second frame in is usually easier to get out. After I get the second frame out I may take the end frame out if I need the room to work. With a full hive I only find the queen on one of the end two frames maybe 5% if the time.

    Now a nuc only has 5 frames so it is much more likely that she will be on any frame. I would start to work on the side with less bees. If the frames seem loose, carefully move them away from the side you are on to give you some extra room to get the end frame out.

    Like the advice above I try to leave them in the same order that I found them. If you struggle to get the end frame out move the frames away from the second one in and take that one out. You may find it easier. Also I have put the nuc in the middle or on one end of the new box and haven't noticed a difference in how they progress.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default New Nuc's

    Da Yooper, Yes you can spray the new foundation with the syurp,it does seem to make them go to work on it faster. Yes that's a good idea to take one or two frames out to give you more room to work. I like to know which frame the queen is on so I can feel more at ease when putting the rest of the frames in.Sounds like your thinking ahead,.You'll do fine. Good luck. Jack

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Pull out one of the outside frames first. With
    a new Nuc one of those will likely be just
    foundation or partly filled comb. Pull that
    one first. Chances are good the queen will
    not be on that one. But behave like she is.
    Cuz she just might be........

    Once you have that frame out, you can slide
    the next one over a bit and lift.

    Even with a new Nuc the bees will probably
    have "glued" them together a bit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,403

    Default Re: f) How do you install a nuc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Yooper View Post

    We will be picking them up and transporting them about 7 hours. What is the best way to transport them in a minivan?
    Meshed laundry bag. The kind that have vent holes in them you don't want them to get out while you are driving. Really it is scary to have to drive with the windows down. If it is dark they just crawl and that is worse.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: f) How do you install a nuc?

    To transport, I have a large, sheet bug net, for black flys and so on, purchased at the local hardware or sports store cheap, throw it over the nuc or package or hive, for insurance against strays in the car.
    Mark
    www.bonterrabees.com

    You can't think like a Bee, but you can watch them think

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: f) How do you install a nuc?

    How long will it take a new nuc to draw comb on 2 8-frame medium supers?
    "Here's to the crazy ones" Steve Jobs (1955 2011)
    Think Different

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: f) How do you install a nuc?

    entirely too many variables there! The first is nucs range tremendously in strength and size. If it is a good honest five frame, it could be drawn out in a month if they have good weather, good flows or lots of feed. Just be sure you are ready because they can always surprise you to the upside and if you are not ready, they swarm and you lose you crop and maybe your colony. If they have the best of it, they can make a big crop. Depends on the year and the bees.

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