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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,606

    Default Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I placed a 5 frame nuc in a ten frame deep body last Monday. I have read over and over again to leave them alone for 10 days. I also read that healthy bees can draw out that comb in a couple of days. I am just confirming that I should not get curious and open the hive until next Thursday. Am I correct? I have not seen any reason to be concerned anything is wrong in any way. I am just concerned the queen has room to start making a proper nest. She was pretty hemmed in by honey and the nuc was busting at the seems when I moved it. Opening things up and giving her room to lay properly is my biggest concern right now.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Take what I say with a grain of a salt cause I'm no guru but I think as long as the bees have room to draw out comb they'll get busy drawing out comb. If the nuc has frames of emerging brood your queen will be able to lay in the cells that have just opened up as well as being able to lay in the frames that have honey as the honey is being consumed. If your bees have the other frames drawn in a few days I'd be looking at putting a second deep on. I think you'd be able to look at them before ten days if you want though, I think that applies to newly introduced queens to keep the bees from balling the new queen but even that is kind of conjecture. I've had hives I peeked and poked around in after four days that did just fine. Like anything with beekeeping, ask three beeks get four answers. Good luck,
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,312

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    After 4-5 days it won't hurt anything to take the top off for a short time and see how they are doing on drawing comb. You can look down between frames without removing anything to determine if they are drawing out comb. You don't need to do that, but any new beekeeper will want to and it won't hurt anything.

    In my experience, a nuc is not going to draw out 5 extra frames in a couple of days. A big swarm fed syrup can do that, but not any nuc I've bought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I think that a nuc is different. If you only have foundation or are replacing a queen, etc., then waiting a week or more is best practice. A nuc is very unlikely to supercede their queen or abscond by early looking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,312

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Now that I think about it . . .

    It's been a long time since I've installed a nuc. I've just caught swarms and made splits for the last 4-5 years. However, I think I did complete inspections after a week with no problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I look whenever I feel like it and have the time. Bees don't seem to mind as long as you don't choke them with smoke and bang them around too much. This is a hobby and a learning experience so enjoy it. Looking is the most important thing you can do if you are a newbee. Every colony / year is different so there are no hard fast rules. With the weather we have had this year I think they are so busy that you could look every couple of hours and they wouldn't care.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Yes, its best to not disturb them, BUT, this is your first experience getting bees, and its important that you learn the basics of hive inspection and manipulation. So, I suggest that you wait a couple of days then feel free to take brief peaks into the hive. You may not need smoke at this point, but have your smoker going just in case. Fight the urge to find the queen every time you open the hive. Don't rearrange the frames - put them back exactly as you pulled them out. If they are not drawing comb, you may need to feed, but it depends on both what the colony needs and what nectar is available. Feel free to post more specific questions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    media, pennsylvania
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    i want to piggy-back my own question onto this thread. i too just installed a nuc, last monday, into an 8-frame medium hive. the queen was in a cage, so i pulled the wooden plug (there was no candy) and kind-of wedged the cage in between the wall frame and the wall, with the hole pointing toward the front of the hive.

    i'd like to open the hive tomorrow and remove the cage before it gets propolized and difficult to remove, will that be ok?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Yes, I'd remove it sooner rather than later.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,443

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I think the 10 day reference is primarily geared toward splits where you are expecting the split to make their own queen - not nucs. You are not going to hurt anything by waiting 10 days but you're not doing anything especially beneficial for the bees either. I tend to treat new packages and nucs much the same way. I was in a yard with 8 single deeps into which packages were installed about a week ago. Today was my first visit to refill feeders. 1 of the 8 had been taken the syrup completely. I took a closer look at 1 colony that seemed like it had a smallish population and once I spotted the queen, the cover went back on. I did a full inspection on one colony - saw eggs and the queen, fair amount of pollen too. Decent build up although the second deep is probably a month off. I had previously inspected them after 3 days to ensure queen release and remove the queen cages. (From an education pov you need to be in the colony to see/learn what is going on - future colonies that you may acquire can be left on their own / be interfered with less.)

    Your first inspections do not have to be invasive. You can tell much by just taking off the cover and looking down. Have the bees spread beyond the nuc frames? Are they taking feed? What is their temperament? No need to pull frames unless you want to verify how they are drawing their new frames and to give you an initial impression of queen performance.

    When you installed your nuc did you keep the frames from the nuc together? A good populous nuc will be all over their new frames and you could very well be ready for an additional brood chamber after 10 days.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    A nucleus hive is supposed to be "a very small hive that is nevertheless self-sustaining," where as a package represents an entirely man-made situation.

    The admonition to "leave them alone for X days" is, I suggest, far more important for a package, simply because the package must (to borrow a geek term) bootstrap "a natural situation" from absolutely nothing. A nucleus is supposed to already be in that "a natural situation" already.

    A few days after putting the hive into its new home, I'd check it briefly one special time to make sure that nothing is outrageously the matter. (i.e. "if you ... oops! ... goofed something up, the time to catch it is pronto.") Then, and forever after, "keep an eye on things." Observe the hive every day or so (keeping a daily written record of your observations, perhaps), and have a regular inspection at regular intervals (absent any observation on your part that you think might warrant a closer, sooner looky). The whole process might take ten minutes or less. Then, religiously, go update your log (and file-away the pictures from your phone). Even if each time you find "nothing of interest," when you look back upon your diary you might notice things over an interval of time that might be useful to you. (In many unrelated situations, diaries and running-logs have often "usefully surprised me.")

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    The admonition to "leave them alone for X days" is, I suggest, far more important for a package, simply because the package must (to borrow a geek term) bootstrap "a natural situation" from absolutely nothing.
    I concur, with a nuc feel free to treat them like any other hive. And as was just noted, keep notes on what you do every time you go to the hive.

    The one and only nuc I ever bought (horrible waste of money IMHO) I moved frames after a few days to give more empty space in the brood nest; without any problems.
    Experience is better than theory.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,443

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Please note that when I spoke of treating nucs and packages similarly I was speaking of newly started nucs - 2 frames of brood and some honey and either a queen cell or mated queen. There is not much natural about a new nuc - the bees will in time learn their new jobs, but at the beginning they are neophytes. Most were nurse bees until their frames went into another box. I agree that a five frame bursting at the gills nuc is much more robust than a package, and much closer to a fully functioning hive in practice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I've followed the rules with problems and ignored them with success.

    I doubt you'll create difficulty by popping the top and sniffing around for a minute or two. I don't suggest much more until you see a need. Hey, it's a past time! Have some fun!

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