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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Accomack County, VA, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    Hi There,

    Was wondering if I needed to shake off the bees from a frame of Brood,Larvae,Eggs when putting it into a different hive? I used this great method of checking for a queen when I thought one of my hives was queenless by adding a frame of eggs and brood and then checking 3 days later for queen cells. Every time I did this I shook off the bees and was wondering if that was neccessary? Would those nurse bees be accepted in the new hive if I left them on the frame and would they want to be accepted? (-: Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    Only share the bees if you know where the queen is. If the purpose of moving the frame is just to test to see if the bees will build queen cells, then no need to share bees also you can shake them off saves looking for the queen. But if the purpose is to boost a weaker hive or make a strong hive less strong then move the bees also.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Accomack County, VA, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    Ok Thanks Oldtimer, but I have another question (-: So when you combine a queenless hive with a queen right hive you use various methods including the newspaper so they can get used to the queen scent before complete introduction and hopefully won't kill her. Why does it not matter when putting in a frame of brood with nurse bees? They won't fight eachother?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    The only problem I can see with not using the paper combine method between a QR hive and a QL one would be the unknown factor of laying workers in the QL hive that may kill the queen, then again if the QR hive is pretty strong they should be able to fend off the laying workers, am I correct?

    I have never just moved a QL hive on top of a QR hive before, I've done the paper method each time.

    Would like to know others experiences as well.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,961

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    I think that fighting is much less likely with weak hives. I never bother shaking bees off of frames when I am making up nucs with bees from different hives, or adding brood and bees to weak hives. If I am adding a box with a weak queenless hive to a strong hive, I would probably put down the newspaper just in case. If I am combining two weak hives I probably would also, but I know that I have done so in the past without bothering and haven't noticed a problem.

    I have made up a nuc by taking 4 frames and the queen from a strong hive and placed the remaining bees on a hive with a queen and a couple hundred bees before and they grew to my strongest hive of the season last year. I didn't use newspaper. So newspaper is always a safety tool and is more necessary the stronger the hives are that are being combined. I also think that nurse bees are never a threat to other hives or queens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    EDIT - Wrote this post before I saw yours Beedeetee, so covered some of the same ground, sorry!

    Bailey I think it's about the bees being put into a hive being a small minority, plus being mostly young bees. Transferring bees in this manner has been standard procedure for me with virtually no problems.

    One thing to bear in mind is how to do this if it's robbing season. You don't want to put bees into a weak hive that may return to the strong hive and tell their bees where the honey is. In such cases, shake the brood comb in such a way to make old bees fly but keep the young bees, or else don't risk it at all and shake all the bees off before transferring.

    BeeGhost, I rarely use paper now, but did around a couple weeks ago when I combined a weak nuc to a strong laying worker hive. The nuc went on top, over paper and an excluder, I was at the site a week later so popped the lid for a look, the bees had combined and queen was OK and laying, but I left the excluder in for another week just as a safeguard to stop her getting down among old, unfriendly bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Do you shake off the nurse bees when "sharing" a frame?

    Oldtimer I'd like to know what you did differently than I. I tried this also this year. Combining a nuc w/ a laying worker nuc. (Both were 5 frame hives) the laying worker hive had a queen that either didn't hatch out or didn't make it back. I didn't check to see if she emerged. When I looked at them the next day after combining w/ paper, I saw them balling my good queen who I freed, she went to the top of the frame and flew off. Thankfully she was fat so she didn't go very far. (Only about 10 feet or so to the ground) I got a queen cage and put her in and back into the hive. I did use newspaper, but the laying workers were too strong for this nuc even though they were basically broodless for 3 weeks or more. (at the time I combined them the laying worker was about 1/3 the size of the good nuc) So from here on out If I need to combine a laying worker hive, I'll either cage the queen just before letting them combine or do a push in cage as I saw here sometime ago.

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