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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    I've been reading through some of the info here and still have some questions.

    Goldenrod is starting to bloom and the Fall flow may be starting early this year.
    Is it too late to make up one or two 5 frame Nucs and have them winter through here in Pa?
    If the flow is good, it shouldn't be too hard for them to get sufficient stores.

    The plan is for them to raise their own queens and then place both together on top of one of our three 10 frame hives.

    Or should I wait till Spring?

    I do have access to some local queens if that would help move things along faster.
    Last edited by Allen; 08-03-2012 at 08:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Appling, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    Can't speak to being in PA, But i would get a laying queen somewhere at the very least. If you were to split today, let them raise queens, its 25-30 days before they start laying. Then 21 more days until new bees emerge. September 23rd before the colony starts growing again at best.
    alot of bees will die off before that time.

    Then will the queen start laying heavy or only a little until slowing down for winter.
    I just made 2 more splits less than 2 weeks ago, BUT, I am in georgia and have almost 4 more months for them to grow strong.

    Somebody with more experience will probably be able to add more advice.
    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    I don't know how to advise you, but I would say if you do it, take the old queen with the split. This lets them keep growing. Let the old hive make a new queen. This will also give the old hive a brood break. Just my opinion, IF you decide to split.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    State College, PA, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    I don't think it is too late, if you have a laying queen. I made up the nucs (1 frame honey, 1 brood, 1 pollen, 2 empty) at the beginning of July, and raised some queen cells to put in them. Last week when I checked they had started laying 3-5 days earlier. They are still pretty weak. I will probably open them up again this weekend for another evaluation.

    Take what I say with a grain of salt, since this was my first attempt at raising queens and wintering nucs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,249

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    Allen, this video of Michael Palmer on wintering Nuc's should be of help to you, he is further north than you are so his methods and timing should work for you.

    http://vimeo.com/23135184

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    Having watched that video a few times, I can tell you that He talks about making splits as late as the middle of August - in Vermont - and overwintering them successfully.

    He uses a mated queen, a frame of stores, brood with the attached bees, one partly brood, partly store, and an empty frame.

    I just started a nuc today with a tiny swarm I found - a queen and a few hundred bees - I gave them a frame of brood, one of stores (both with the bees that were on them, an empty comb, and a frame of fondation.

    I figure tht all it costs me is a frame of brood and one of stores, and you don't know if they will do well unless you try it and find out.

    I'd spend a few bucks on a new mated queen and see what happens.
    Jason Varner is near you and has excellent queens and service. Pm me if you want his contact info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    If you can get a queen that is already mated that will help. If you have the bees rear a queen it may be tougher for them to build up because of the wait for her arrival and her eggs to hatch. The succcess will depend on like how much capped brood you put in the split and if you have drawn comb already, weather etc. If you have some strong hives to add brood and capped honey from it will make a big difference. I Have some queens that are new and laying as of a few weeks ago. I had to add some brood into them because the workers had hatched out and the eggs from the queen hadn't materialized into a workforce yet. Adding the brood really smoothed things out for them. I am aiming to have the nucs in double deeps before winter.
    I would say go for it. Try raising a new queen and a mated queen side by side in nucs and observe it etc. I am feeding my nucs. They are taking the syrup. I am in south central P.A. The stronger hives do appear to bringing in some nectar and pollen. Keep a small entrance on your nuc and be neat with the syrup so your stronger colonies don't try to rob the heck out out your nuc. I put some honey on the top of a nuc from some burr comb that had honey leaking and the bees noticed the honey smell and robbed the nuc ruthlessly. I won't do that again. Everyones advice here is great WWW... I like the Michael Palmer video. It is very pertinent to this Watching it now Good Luck Allen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    I will make strong nucs with virgin queens up to Sept but will feed heavy to put on weight for winter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    This is an awesome post Allen, That Michael Palmer video taught me a great bit. I usually always thought of a nuc as a way to make a complete hive the same year but over wintering the nuc configured the way he shows it is so it will be a new hive the next year. AHHH I will be building some dividers and what not soon. I really liked that video. Awesome info in this. Beetrucker glad to hear from you. We aren't too far apart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    Just got back from an enjoyable time groundhog hunting with a new groundhogger.
    He got his first chuck today at 240 yds.
    Did it with one shot out of his new 22-250 and is a very happy camper!

    Started watching MP's video. Real good stuff in there!

    We have one booming colony and that's in a hive of all medium supers.
    The others seem to have slowed down with the dearth.
    I'd like to make up the Nucs with deep frames.
    I'm not comfortable taking brood from the Deep hives just yet because they aren't drawing much new comb.
    Will keep an eye on them over the next couple of weeks and will make a decision then.
    We may just wait till Spring and then we can make up four Nucs or so.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Too late to start a Nuc in Pa?

    Oh yeah, the idea of a bee bomb when the Fall flow is about to start is great.
    And having the ability to quickly make multiple new colonies with mated queens is slick.
    We have learned alot from this forum in a short time!

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