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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
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    Default Making A Nuc With Frames From Several Hives

    I want to make up a nuc by pulling one frame from three different hives and then adding a division board feeder to the five frame nuc box to get it going. What I want to do is cut down the brood boxes to 9 frames from 10 and create a nuc in the process.

    Two of the donor hives are Russian, the other donor hive is from a swarm that looks Italian and the queen is a purchased Italian Queen.

    Is this a goofy idea?

    If I spray everybody but the queen down with a little syrup with essential oils added, will they get along okay?

    How should I handle queen introduction?

    Thanks,

    Neil
    Last edited by NeilV; 05-03-2009 at 08:27 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,306

    Default

    Perfectly sound idea. I used to do it often...when I still split bees.

    Here's an added option. You can take brood from some colonies, and bees from another. Place an excluder on the hive you want to take bees from. Place an empty brood box on excluder. As you remove the frame of brood from a colony, shake off all the bees, and place it in empty brood box above the excluder. Each frame you rempve goes in the box as well...all with no bees. You could add a frame or two of honey, too. Cover overnight. Next day, you'll have your 5 frames for the nuc covered with bees and no queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Why only 9 frames in the brood chamber? That will change bee space, won't it? I don't think it will make the workers longer. Bee space would be my concern. I have heard of beeks doing it with honey supers but not brood chambers.
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    Default

    Neil, that is exactly how we make our nucs. We put the brood and clinging bees into nuc boxes, keeping them closed up then move them to another location. The next day we give them a mated queen.
    I have heard of difficulties working with Russian bees, with introducing queens, so that might complicate the process somewhat.
    Sheri

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
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    Default

    "Why only 9 frames in the brood chamber?"

    It works in brood chambers as well as supers. Once the frame is drawn, they just use it like an ordinary frame for brood. I don't think they draw it to be longer.

    The advantages, which I'm sure are debatable are: (1) easier to pull frames without squishing anybody; (2) better ventilation; and (3) the spacing matches the honey supers.

    One reason I'm doing this is that I'm trying Walt Wright's Nectar Management/Checkerboarding ideas, and this is what he recommends. So I'm sort of doing this because Walt said so. I can say that I like working on the hives that I have already spaced out with 9 frames. They are much easier to work.

    As to the Russian problem, I think I will just do a slow release of the queen on this nuc, like I would if I were trying to introduce a new Russian queen.


    Neil

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,553

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIMBEE View Post
    Why only 9 frames in the brood chamber?
    We put 10 frames foundation to be drawn but once drawn we run 9 frames, or 8 frames and a division feeder. It is so much easier and quicker to pull frames for inspection, no rolling of bees, less chance of injuring a queen. We run 8 frames in the supers. They draw the comb for honey out a bit wider and make it easier to uncap. When running fewer frames it is more important to space the frames evenly and keep them straight.
    Sheri

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Default

    the spacing is really easy. Betterbee sells a 9-frame spacer. Not one that gets nailed into the frame rest, but one that you take from hive to hive with you; it's made of sturdy metal like your hive tool.

    justgojumpit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default

    As to the Russian problem, I think I will just do a slow release of the queen on this nuc, like I would if I were trying to introduce a new Russian queen.
    Neil, I definitely think a slow release is a good idea when mixing Russians with Italians. Even with a slow release it could go south on you. I've had Russian workers kill Italian queens,...sometimes it looked like they'd accepted her, eveything was calm, but then a week later the Italian queen was gone and they were building queen cells. You could introduce the queen in a cage between frames,...then in 3-4 days transfer her to a push-in cage on the comb over newly emerging bees, and give her another 4-5 days in the push-in cage. There's a good chance the workers outside will eat away at the comb on the edge of the push-in cage and go under it to get to her but hopefully they will have fully accepted her. Good luck.

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