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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Question To bee or not to bee....

    has been quoted too many times, but in this case, this IS the question!

    I've had a nightmare situation with robbing over the last couple of months and lost 3 out of my six hives to this. There has been a pretty severe drought up here and I think this is what is making for this relentless robbing. Please see my previous post and discussion on this:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=244418

    My question is this: I have the opportunity to obtain some excellent bees from "The Fat Bee Man", Don Kuchenmeister, and I'm very fearful that if I bring these nucs into my yard, I will loose them to my three stong bandit hives (which I would not be surprised to see robbing each other when I return next week!). I'm tempted just to wait until next year to build up what I lost.

    Short of moving my present hives somewhere else, or putting my nucs in another location, I'd be very grateful for you thoughts and suggestions on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,138

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    If it's that bad, you might have to move some of them somewhere else.
    Having said that, even quite small and weak nucs can defend themselves if they have a TINY entrance, in the right place. The entrance must be where the bees are so the entrance will always be guarded.
    For small mating nucs we used to drill a hole through the box, as a bottom entrance could be left unguarded and allow robbing to start. Just make sure the entrance matches what the bees can handle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    When/if you get nucs from Don you will need to feed them. Your robbing situation isn't going to be made easier when you start pouring sugar syrup into feeders on top of some very expensive nucs.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    are you using robber screens?

    If you get new strong nucs, they will be able to defend themselves, particularly if you use robber screens and are careful not to leave them vulnerable or start robbing when you transfer them.

    If it were me, I'd get the Don nucs and put them in a new yard.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine_Beekeeper View Post
    If it were me, I'd get the Don nucs and put them in a new yard.
    I hear that! That's my plan. Put them all a few miles away and give them a chance to build up!

    Since I have TBHs I can't use robber screens. I just have to reduce the size of the entrance hole. Been there, done that. Helped a little. Three starved out and dead colonies and a broken heart....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    Do you need to cut down the comb to fit it into your TBH?
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    Yeah. Cutting down the comb as shown in the video link is my plan.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Yeah. Cutting down the comb as shown in the video link is my plan.
    I think you are going to set off robbing... unless you find a secure place/means of doing it.

    I would have Don ship the Nucs at the end of April. I don't know how many you were going to pick up but that's a long, expensive trip. And then to cut them down... and then to get them built up and through the winter seems like a challenge.

    I have enough trouble with easier tasks...
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware County, New York, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: To bee or not to bee....

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I think you are going to set off robbing... unless you find a secure place/means of doing it.

    I would have Don ship the Nucs at the end of April. I don't know how many you were going to pick up but that's a long, expensive trip. And then to cut them down... and then to get them built up and through the winter seems like a challenge.

    I have enough trouble with easier tasks...
    I agree about the robbing. These nucs wouldn't see my bee yard until next spring - if I ever get down there to pick them up this time.

    I think your suggestion is a good one. Getting someone to share this trip with me has taken longer than I had anticipated and time is flying by. Can't and won't do this drive by myself - especially this late in the season. I would have liked to give it a try but I just might have to wait until next April to get a bunch of nucs from Don.

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