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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    I have a nuc that I created at the beginning of July (almost 8 weeks old now). It is a 2-story, 6-frame medium nuc. The split started as two frames of capped brood, two frames on honey and pollen, and two empty frames. The grafted queen was introduced when she was still a larva in an uncapped cell cup. The bottom box is solid brood from edge to edge. The top box was foundation only, and they have drawn two of the frames fully, 2 frames partially, and none on the outer frames in the top box. There is an egg or larva in pretty much every cell deep enough to hold it. There is no stored honey.

    I sure would like this colony to survive the winter but I don't see how that's possible if they don't start packing away the honey. So I have a few questions:

    1. Do the workers only draw comb as fast as the queen wants to lay eggs, or do they draw comb as sugar is available and the queen lays as much as she has room for?
    2. There is a jar feeder on top of this hive but they take it very slowly. As in, a quart a week. My other hives suck down over a quart a day, though they are larger colonies. Why so slow?
    3. Is there any hope for this hive putting away enough stores to over winter? Knotweed just came into full bloom here and Goldenrod still hasn't popped.
    4. Would moving this hive to a location with an overabundance of forage (like 5 acres of solid knotweed and 10 acres of goldenrod) help them out or is it not worth the risk moving them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    I'm guessing that your problem is rooted in a low population of bees. Less than eight weeks ago you did not have a laying queen. It took her a while to get up an running. It takes 3 weeks for her first eggs to emerge as adult bees and another three weeks before they will out foraging. That is probably just about now. Starting with a laying queen might have put you in a much different position right now.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    To further guess at some of your questions:

    1. They will draw comb to meet their need. If no nectar is coming in, they do not need space to store it.

    2. Maybe the number of bees is low?

    3. Probably there is some chance, but I am guessing (again) you will need to feed them.

    4. I would not move them.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wright, MN, USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    Add another empty super to it and switch its position with your strongest hive. This will give it a large boost in the number of foragers, and they will quickly fill frames with honey if their is any nectar coming in.

    I did this to one of my nucs earlier this year, I moved the nuc into a 10 frame deep and switched it with a strong hive. 4 days later the 5 empty frames were full of honey and partially capped, and I added a second deep to them. The extra foragers give the hive a boost for about a month.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    Do I switch their positions after they have mostly gone in for the night or during the day when the foragers are out?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    I would feed them all they will take you are going to need it when all that brood hatches. If you are like me we have had no rain very little if any nector coming in .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: What are the reasons for a slow nuc buildup?

    It really does not matter what time of day you switch them. At least not as far as the bees are concerned. It may be easier on you if you can do it early or late when there are not many bees in the air.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

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