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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    65

    Default Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    Recently, a class instructor stated than it is not necessary to relocate a mating nuc if a barrier is placed in front of the entrance to force the bees to re-orient as they leave the hive. The theory being that if they cannot see directly out, they will re-orient as they depart. He also suggested a similar barrier would prevent robbing as the robbers fly directly into the entrance. A barrier that prevents direct flight is supposed to head off robbing.
    I tried to combine both ideas by bending pieces of 1/2 inch hardware cloth to form a "L" in front of and above the entrance. It is wider than the width of the entrance. The inside of the hardware cloth is lined with plastic sign board. The combination prevents direct flight into the hive and direct sight out of the hive.
    Does anyone have any experience with this approach?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    No experience combining the two, but I do have experience with each idea independently.

    Robber guards (or robber screens) are widely used. Some are sold, but in reality all you need is a bent piece of hardware cloth or screen (like you did). I find them very effective. I only use the screen though, and don't add a visual barrier. It was my belief that robber screens worked because robber bees orient by scent, rather than by common sense. So if the screen is there the robber will follow the scent right into the screen, but won't be able to figure out how to get around it. I'm unsure if this is actually true, but if it is adding a piece of plastic in there might decrease the effectiveness of the robber screen. I'm not sure.

    I also have experience placing a barrier infront of a hive (or nuc) to get them to reorient. I usually just break off a branch (with leaves on it) and stick it into the ground infront of the hive. MOST of the bees that walk out and see the branch think they have been moved, and reorient. You can stand infront of the hive and watch it happen (bees flying over the hive in circles). It doesn't work for 100% of the bees though, as some of the rather older bees are stuck in their ways, and still return to the old site. Still, getting most to change is good enough. However, if you are going to keep the visual barrier on all the time, it won't work repeatedly. I'm not sure of what you are planning, but if you put a visual barrier infront of a hive and got them to reorient, and the same visual barrier remains, if you move them again nothing changed, and they will still go back to the same spot.

    But for making up mating nucs and keeping them in place it should work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    SK:

    I need these and couldn't find them by searching the companies. Could you give me more details or a photo or who sells them?

    Thanks

    Lawrence

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    Cut a piece of 1/2 inch mesh hardware cloth (wire) which is six rows wide and long enough to extend beyond the edges of the entrance opening. Place 90 degree bends at first, third and fifth rows so that the thing form a rough "W". The two short rows provide enogh space to staple the thing in place.
    I fastened the plastic sign board pieces in by cutting a few segments of the wire, bending them 90 degrees and piercing them through the plastic. Bend the wires over on the opposite side and the plastic is firmly held in postion.
    I have not seen this type of device in any catalogue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Could you give me more details or a photo or who sells them?
    Brushy Mountain sells one:

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/517/

    Theirs is a little too pricey for me, and somewhat more complicated than I need. I usually use something much simpler, which usually costs a fraction of the price. I was considering chucking a few up on Ebay, or in the for sale section though . . .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    I start mine with a frame of brood and a frame of honey and an extra shake of bees and I do not put them in another yard, nor do I confine them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Do We Have to Move Mating Nucs to a Different Location?

    For the robber screens, how far away should the screen entrance be from the original entrance?

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