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Thread: Fat Beeman nucs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Hockessin, DE
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    72

    Default Fat Beeman nucs

    I installed two nucs from Fat Beeman last week, and they are really going to town. I'm using a foundationless approach in these hives, and all three frame bars in the two hives that were new had freshly drawn comb, and I supered both. There must be a million bees in those two hives. And all this with no supplemental feeding. I did put some syrup on today, so we'll see how they do with that.
    I am so pleased with these nucs. They are so far ahead of the two packages I installed three weeks ago. Thanks, Don.
    Ellen
    Ellen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Magnolia, NJ
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    42

    Default

    I'll echo Ellen's sentiments and mention that a colony that began as a 5-frame Nuc from Don last summer has grown into FIVE bustling colonies already this spring! These NWC/Russian bees from Don are so gentle and so prolific it's amazing.

    Justin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi

    Ellen and Justin, glad to hear your nucs from Fatbeeman are doing so well. I am expecting two nucs soon. He suggested that I let let the bees draw there own comb but I'm not sure how to do this exactly. Can you tell me how you did it? I'm new to beekeeping.

    Thanks,

    Carolyn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
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    Default

    Hi, Carolyn,
    I bought grooved frame tops and glued popsicle sticks into the top to make an 8 inch starter strip. I had to use four sticks--two together, then two more together, because they were only 4" long and too thin to stay in without doubling up.
    The bees drew the three frames very quckly.
    I supered the hive, since it looked as though they would be crowded soon, but no new comb was built on the frames in the new box a week later. Others here have recommended that you either put a fully drawn comb in the new box for the bees to climb up or put the new box on the bottom.
    I have two hives, so I'm going to try each of these ideas.
    Good luck.
    Ellen
    Ellen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
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    8

    Smile

    Hi Ellen,

    Thanks for your response. Do you have any frames with foundation in your hive? I was thinking about using the small crimped wire foundation that I have and then putting in a empty frame here and there and see what they do. I have some thin wood that came out of the bottom of a widow shade that might work like the popsicle sticks. Right now I have the other type of frame (wedge top) but i'm going to see if I can make it work.

    Good luck with your bees. Mine are due any day now.

    Thanks,

    Carolyn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
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    Default

    someone suggested that if you have the wedge frames, that you can just break off one wedge, then put it back so the narrow end is pointing down. Do a search on this site for recommendations on how to do that.

    I do from the guy who sent me the nuc, but not otherwise.
    Ellen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
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    Default

    Ellen,

    I did the search and found info on converting the wedge top frame. I think I'll try that. When you installed your nucs did you keep all 5 frames together? or should I spead them out a little and add in two empty frames?

    Thanks,

    Carolyn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Magnolia, NJ
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil' Rhody View Post
    Ellen,

    I did the search and found info on converting the wedge top frame. I think I'll try that. When you installed your nucs did you keep all 5 frames together? or should I spead them out a little and add in two empty frames?

    Thanks,

    Carolyn
    On small or weak hives, you never want to disrupt the brood nest by adding empty frames inside the brood nest. Keep the 5 frames together in the center of the box and add additional frames on the outside.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Rhode Island
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    Default

    I'll do that. Thanks Jbird.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
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    1,207

    Default

    anybody have thoughts on bringing southern bees up to the North. I see some of you are from up here, and I've read info on trying to stick close to home when choosing a stock of bee. It's so hard because I want to stay true to biological beekeeping, but Don's bees seem so...TERRIFIC! How can a bee that comes from South Carolina flourish in Maine? Thanks for your thoughts...

    -K-

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Hanson, MA & Lebanon, ME
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    696

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hummingberd View Post
    anybody have thoughts on bringing southern bees up to the North. I see some of you are from up here, and I've read info on trying to stick close to home when choosing a stock of bee. It's so hard because I want to stay true to biological beekeeping, but Don's bees seem so...TERRIFIC! How can a bee that comes from South Carolina flourish in Maine? Thanks for your thoughts...

    -K-
    K, I'd bring Don's bees up north in a heartbeat. If we lose these bees here in Mass again I'm going to do that very thing next spring.
    - Ann, a Gardening Beek

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Andover, Massachusetts
    Posts
    143

    Default I have them in MA

    I bought a nuc from Don last year, and they overwintered great, small cluster. I bought two queens from him this year and they are doing great as well. There should be no issue.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
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    Default

    Sorry I took so long to answer. Yes, I foolishly broke up the brood box by inserting undrawn frames. The bees did ok, though.
    Ellen

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hummingberd View Post
    anybody have thoughts on bringing southern bees up to the North. I see some of you are from up here, and I've read info on trying to stick close to home when choosing a stock of bee. It's so hard because I want to stay true to biological beekeeping, but Don's bees seem so...TERRIFIC! How can a bee that comes from South Carolina flourish in Maine? Thanks for your thoughts...

    -K-
    I just got a couple of queens from Don... I'll let you know how they do "up north". I've got high hopes.
    To everything there is a season....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    interesting thoughts
    I think Don's bees are of Russian/Carniolan heritage
    these aren't really thought of as "southern bees"
    I got a few queens from him and they are rockin and rollin
    quite gentle too

    Dave

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington USA
    Posts
    332

    Don's bees are real fine!!!

    We have been bringing bees north for decade upon decade, though we are getting close to developing a set of northern bees, the majority of those bees came from the south. Remember to ask Don about introducing the Russian queens.

    I'll say this about the man, he has honor and a decent heart as well. His bees are gentle and Don has taken time to assure his bees are.

    Chrissy Shaw

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Fat Beeman nucs

    I noticed this thread was getting a little old, even though Don has continued to sell nucs.

    I have purchased 6 nucs in total from him and I have gotten a mixed bag.

    The first one I purchased was great, produces honey well, but after a while got a little hot. Probably due to a swarm or supercedure.

    The next two nucs I purchased did just fine, working up into four deeps, but died early in their first winter with stores a-plenty.

    This last year I purchased three nucs. Two increased well, one into three deeps, one into four with no feeding. One immediately superceded their queen and got off to a slow start. The one in three deeps died early this winter with plenty of stores.

    I'm not sure on what to blame these losses. None seemed to be the result of disease, all seemed to be the result of a small cluster getting too cold and starving. It may well be the fault of our winters here in NW Arkansas in comparison to Georgia. I'm trying some queens from up north this year to see if it makes a difference.

    Don is a reasonable guy to deal with. Sometimes he seems a bit evasive. But he has a good product, small cell nucs, which precious few elsewhere have.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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