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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Protecting mating nucs?

    How do you keep the mating nucs from being robbed out in the apiary? I assume that you need to keep several good hives to support having enought drones... so how do you protect the nucs from being robbed out?

    We are in early part of the dearth here in the sandhills of NC and I want to try grafting for the first time. Then start 10 or 20 nucs to carry through to next spring

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    Use five frame strong nucs with small entrances or robber screens. I don't usually have problems with robbers until later in the year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    Some time it depends what race of bees you have the Russians and the Carnolians are not bad.
    Italians are another Story.

    #1 Feed late evenings almost dark
    # 2 When you see or think they are wanting to rob set up a couple of feeding spot in the yard ( just before you are going to open up the nuc or hives put your feed in the spots and use the same place each time you work the bees ) away from the hive's a bit but not real far don't do in front but toward back of your hives in the yard.And just before you leave yard put some more feed out when it is gone they will treat it like a flow when its gone its over.

    Had several divides in a yard make up for a guy and robbing got started when i was working them there was a small cloud of bees following me and as soon as the lid was open they would start landing on the frames and bur combs. So I set up feed spots in the yard would feed upon arrival before you ever open a hive, may have to put more out as you work them and the last thing before leaveing pour out more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    I keep small entrances and only feed in the evening either just before or just after dark and small enough amounts that it is gone in the morning. Better yet, give them full combs of capped honey instead.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    Well it looks like I'll move a couple hives out of the yard, run a shot at grafting queens and then divide up the remaining colonies into nucs or larger with the new queens.

    And follow the advice listed above

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    675

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    1. Seperate yard for mating nucs
    2. Small entrances. I use 1" circular.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Meadows of Dan, Virginia, United States
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    I use mating nucs with half-sized frames. The entrances are only big enough for one or two bees to go through. For ventilation they have screened 1" holes at each end, just under the overhanging cover (helps keep the rain out).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,713

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    Last year I made up some mating nucs (some two frames, some three) with 1/2" entrances. It wasn't enough, and they got robbed out and absconded.

    I'd recommend using robber screens and don't go smaller than 5 frame nucs (with good populations inside). Give them the opportunity to defend themselves. That and don't leave any honey combs lying around (or spill any syrup). I'd also avoid using HBH or any additive during a dearth.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, Vermont
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    I run 32 mating nucs (2 deep frames) and also have another 20 or so 4 frame nucs all going in the same bee yard along with 10 production colonies. When I make up a new nuc, I try to do so using frames with young larvae. These frames will tend to have younger nurse bees on them, which tends to lead to less drifting of the older field bees going back to the orginal colony letting the other bees know where there is a nice supply of honey/nectar to go and get. Using frames with young larvae will also lead to less absconding as well, again for the same reason. The younger bees stay to tend to the larvae. They sometimes require feeding if the frames don't have much honey in them, as there aren't many field bees bringing back nectar and pollen.

    During a dearth, I will reduce the nuc entrances down using a screen. I don't want to limit air circulation, but I do want to reduce the size of the entrance they need to defend.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Protecting mating nucs?

    You could feed candy made of honey mixed with powder sugar to prevent robbing.

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