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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Hey all -

    I'm picking up my nuc tonight and in the email I received with instructions on transferring the nuc to the hive it says to smoke the nuc entrance and across the top of the frames. Is it a horribly bad idea not to smoke them? I have not gotten a smoker yet - it's on my list. As long as I'm wearing a bee suit I should be all set, right?

    John
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    At certain times of the year we install a fair number of nucs. We seldom use smoke, unless it is a really crazy day. Just move slow and steady. Should not be a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    I am no expert but I've installed 4 nucs so far, and you need an answer quickly-
    I think you will be ok without smoke. Nuc bees are pretty gentle. Move gently and don't drop the frames! Clunky gloves can be a problem.
    They will be flying all around you- but likely will be more confused than aggressive, try to get them into the hive fairly quickly and gently. Be EXTRA careful with the queen cage and position it well. Give them syrup. Keep the hive entrance small for the first week or so.
    Good luck!!
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Thank you both for your response

    Omie - I'm a little confused; the queen is not caged in a nuc, is she?
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    They can be... sorta depends on the supplier - some cage their nuc queens before shipment... just to insure they do not get injured. We don't do that and have had no problem, but then again our customers all pick up their nucs and if they requested we would cage them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Ah, OK. I thought they always came uncaged. Now I know
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westford, MA, USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Lightly spray them with 1:1 sugar syrup instead, most of the time a spray can be used instead of smoke. An addition of a little hbh to spray will help in disguising alarm phermones etc. in the possible/probable casualties involved in the transfer process.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Picked up the nuc last night, and installed it into the hive this morning. Just checked on them about 20 mins ago and looks like they are doing lots of dancing in front of the hive and I saw some bringing in some pollen already. Looks good so far!

    When I installed the nuc I just put on the veil and then went and popped the top of the nuc. When I saw how many bees were in there I decided I better go get suited up, lol... First time with a nuc so I guess I didn't realize how full it would be.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Yes, it's amazing how many bees are in a good nuc!
    Sounds like you had a good install experience! Don't you feel great now?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Yes, it is amazing.
    Yeah, I do feel good
    Kind of lousy to lose your hive and have to wait to get a replacement.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    Kind of lousy to lose your hive and have to wait to get a replacement.
    Which is why I feel it's best to have 3 or 4 hives rather than 1 or 2 - nothing feels worse than having no surviving hive in the Spring.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,903

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    For thousands of years people have used a bundle of grass and blow the smoke on the bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    Funny you mention that Mr. Bush. I was wondering If I had a small smoky fire near the hive if that would act as a smoker.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,903

    Default Re: Smoking/Installing nuc question

    >f I had a small smoky fire near the hive if that would act as a smoker.

    It will somewhat, yes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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