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Thread: Nuc deadout

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    785

    Default Nuc deadout

    We had our first nuc deadout. This nuc was started from a swarm we caught Sept 19th. We put the small swarm in a 5 five frame nuc, and added a frame of honey and a partially drawn out frame of comb. The swarm drew out their own comb on a foundationless frame and setup shop so to speak on that frame. We did see the queen, and we saw eggs. When I cleaned the nuc yesterday, I found eggs, but no capped brood.

    It appears they starved, even though they had plenty of honey on frames we put in. And, they had Dadant Winter Patties on top. We have had some cool nights into the high 20's but the daytime temps have been in the 40's and 50's. I could understand if we had a severe cold snap, and they couldn't move to get to food, but we have had very mild weather. Any ideas on why they would starve with food so close and mild temps?

    Shane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,027

    Default Re: Nuc deadout

    Bee numbers/population, even with mild temperatures (for me, 20'sF ≠ mild, for me mild = 50F and above), there needs to be enough bees so they can form a successful cluster. I don't know if yours didn't have sufficient population, but it does sound like that may be the case, from your description.

    I've had similar weather, here, but into the 30'sF, not 20'sF. I began Winter with twenty full-size colonies and about thirty nucs, some 5-frame, some 3-frame mating nucs. One of the 3-frame, and three of the 5-frame were robbed/starved out during a cold/rainy spell. I was able to rescue one of the 5-framer's by spritzing the bees on their combs with warm sugar syrup and moving them into the sun. All these dead-outs were the weakest colonies going into this Autumn/Winter.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Nuc deadout

    Thanks Joesph,

    You are most likely right. Their numbers were probably just too small. To stop robbing, we had to move this colony from our main yards to a new area with no known bees around.

    Shane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default Re: Nuc deadout

    Winter cluster,s can be compared like a basket ball to a smaller sphere like a soccer ball.
    The larger sphere has fewer surface square inches to it's size. Whereas a smaller sphere has many more square suface inches. The smaller winter clusters can not generate enough heat to keep warm and they shrink down from the honey supplies and perish. The larger sphere can maintain it's winter cluster temperature, move to their honey sources and survive.
    The insulating thickness of the winter cluster is another factor.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Wise county Va
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Nuc deadout

    misread date, disregard
    Last edited by ShrekVa; 12-08-2012 at 08:57 PM. Reason: misread date

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