Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC
Hi, I have searched through dozens if not hundreds of past messages on this forum to educate myself, but have not found a thread that specifically addresses my scenario & questions. I'm posting my compilation of thoughts from this research & request input from my wonderful fellow beekeepers on this site to guide me in the right direction.
I am located in the Foothills of Western NC (USDA Zone 7) & this is my 2nd year of beekeeping. I am using all 10-frame medium hives & have 5 hives of Russian bees that overwintered successfully. Each hive has 3 mediums & all are doing very well, with 3 of them bursting at the seams with bees, brood, & stores.
I have ordered 4 different queens from Russell Apiaries (Buckfast, Russell Italian, Sunkist, & Italian/Russian Hybrid) that are to arrive this Friday & I plan to make splits using these queens & my existing hives. I have plenty of 10-frame medium hive bodies, as well as 4 medium nucs (each nuc has two 5-frame medium hive bodies). My plan is to take frames of honey, pollen, & brood from the Russian hives, combined with the new queens to make my splits. My thought was to setup each nuc as follows:
1: Frame of Honey
2: Frame of Capped/Uncapped Brood
3: Queen Introduction Frame (replaced with Foundation after queen release)
4: Frame of Capped/Uncapped Brood
5: Frame of Foundation
1. Is this the right makeup & location for the frames?
2. Do I need to replace the frames of foundation with drawn comb? I have seen posts that advocate both methods.
3. Has anyone used the Brushy Mountain Requeening Frames? I have them available but have never used them.
4. Should I go ahead and add the second 5-frame medium body to the nuc when I make the splits, or wait until the first five frames are full?
5. When should I move the splits from the nucs to 10-frame hive bodies? Is there any advantage to starting the splits in 10-frame mediums instead of the 5-frame nucs?
6. Do I need to shake more bees into the nucs?
7. How far away do I have to take the nucs from the existing bee yard?
Thank you in advance for helping this new beekeeper increase his odds of successfully making four new splits!! I will post follow up messages sharing what I do & how they perform over the coming year.
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