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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tryon, NC, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default 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.

    Scenario:
    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

    Questions:
    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.

    Carl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,324

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    To me, most of your plan sounds passable.

    Several questions occur to me:
    What are your temperatures?
    What are your foraging conditions?
    Do you have enough bee resources to properly populate each nuc without depopulating your hives?

    If each split doesn't contain enough nurse bees to care for the brood (keeping it warm and well fed), you will have problems, and if there aren't enough field bees to supply plenty of pollen and nectar, you could have problems. The first relies on having enough bees and distributing them appropriately (sounds easy, but can be tricky), the second can be assisted with some feeding of honey/nectar/sugar syrup and pollen substitute or pollen patties.


    1. I'd lose the comb of foundation and replace it with another frame of nectar/pollen, at least until the queens are released.

    2. After queen is released, replace that frame with frame of foundation.

    4. Wait until first 5-frames are packed with bees.

    5. No advantage, disadvantage instead.

    6. Yes, their should be enough bees to cover the frames of brood, plus one frame of honey.

    7. No distance at all if you temporarily obstruct their entrances with vegetation or other.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manhattan,Montana,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    1- I would put two frames of honey in if you have it. in position 1 and 5. when you remove the queen introduction frame replace it with drawn comb if you have it.

    2 - use drawn comb if you have it. it will help out the split and make them grow in stregth faster.

    4- do what ever you want. i usually would add a second right away.

    5- i start in 10 frame mediums but i normally move over more than 2 frames of capped brood. i would exteriment and see what works best for you.

    6- yes shake in a couple frames of extra bees off of the capped brood during mid day. this will shake younger bees which will stay with the new nuc.

    7-you dont need to move them if you shake plenty of young bees in. you will lose some of the bees back to the original hive that you shake.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    Sounds good just make sure that you keep plenty of feed on them for a few weeks until they have an established flying force. The field bees will return to the orginal hives unless you move the nucs more than two miles.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    While it is quite warm now and resources (pollen /nectar) are available, next week looks to be cooler. The forecast for your area is 30's and 40's at night and 50's and 60's for highs with off and on rain.

    It may be wise to add a frame of pollen/ nectar in place of the second frame of brood. If you use the two brood frames, I would not split the with the queen introduction frame.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    You have received alot of good advice here.
    The most important points to note are mentioned by more than one person.
    Those are quoted below:

    It may be wise to add a frame of pollen/ nectar in place of the second frame of brood. If you use the two brood frames, I would not split them with the queen introduction frame.

    Just make sure that you keep plenty of feed on them for a few weeks until they have an established flying force.

    yes shake in a couple frames of extra bees off of the capped brood during mid day. this will shake younger bees which will stay with the new nuc.

    Yes, their should be enough bees to cover the frames of brood, plus one frame of honey.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tryon, NC, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Splits with Purchased Queens in Western NC

    Thanks for the feedback folks. Looks like I have some additional data to use in my decision making.

    I was hoping to hear from someone, good, bad or otherwise, about the Brushy Mountain Requeening frames, but I guess I'll have to make a decision and then report back on my results. Anyone use one of these? Bueller.. Bueller...

    Thanks!

    --Carl

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