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Thread: Nuc boxes ?

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  1. #1

    Default Nuc boxes ?

    Not to hijack the other thread. And to keep my thinking straight. And last summer my first year to play with nucs on these lines. I made up some five frame nuc boxes last summer. (Late June July) An and had problems with bee Quantity in some of them. Would I have been better of pulling two of the frames out and putting following boards in there place? Thinking of spring and making plans for it. if I need to make some following boards or not. When I make splits in the spring Should I move them to a differnt yard?
    David
    My-smokepole
    http://www.davidspaintingandwallpapering.com"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    Moving splits away from more populace hives can help fight robbing and also keeps bees drifting back home down. If I can't move them for some reason, I just make sure to minimize entrance opening and overstock the splits to allow for the older bees drifting home.

    I cut follower boards out of 1 inch foil clad styrofoam and they worked well for me. When it is cold, the bees buildup is directly affected by the volume of space tehy have to heat. You just have to be very aware of population explosions when frames of brood start emerging.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    Making spring splits after the flow has started is not as hard as making them in the summer like you did last year. Keep the entrance one bee wide and you should not have many problems. Summer and fall splits can be more challenging to get going. I have never felt the need for a follower board in a nuc, I just make sure they don't have more drawn comb than they can protect. I don't see undrawn frames being much different than a follower board.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    You can also remove a frame or two and use a in hive feeder that replaces a frame. Feeding will help build up during a weak flow or dearth and reducing the entrance down to a single bee space will help prevent robbing by bigger hives. Moving the nucs to another yard will also help stop drift of bees returning to the original hive that you pulled the nucs from. Moving nucs to a yard away from larger colonies may also help prevent some possible robbing issues.
    If starting with a mated queen, I like to use mostly capped brood for making nucs, if starting with a cell or virgin, I like to have brood in multiple stages, but more young brood than capped brood. I have found that with a cell, orvirgin queen, having brood of all ages helps with the age difference between the last brrod that hatches and the new queens brood that she is starting to lay afrer she mates. Having mostly capped brood with a mated queen allows the new queen to ramp up egg laying as there is a influx of nurse bees as the sealed brood hatches out. Just how I like to do it, not saying that it will effect the outcome of your nucs, but just another option to think of.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    I made up some five frame nuc boxes last summer. (Late June July) An and had problems with bee Quantity in some of them. Would I have been better of pulling two of the frames out and putting following boards in there place?
    What do you mean by quantity. Did you mean quality?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    I might Quantity of bees. Some where light on bees
    David

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    David, how did you make them up? When making splits I make use of an excluder. Bees get shaken off frames of brood and placed above an excluder for a week. After a week 2 fairly full frames of bees are placed in a 5 frame nuc with the entrance reduced to one bee, or no more than 3/8 inch. I add a frame of honey and 2 other frames. If the nuc does not seem to have many nurses I shake more bees in from other frames above the excluder. They tend to stay with the nuc. I like to make up nucs in mid-june. If you used mostly sealed brood you won't need to make follower boards.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    I just pulled a frame of brood. With bees on them
    David

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    When I'm making up nucs and leaving them in the same yard I always give them an extra shake of bees or two. Sometimes I'll have one or two that are a light on bees so I will shake a frame of bees right at their entrance late in the evening. Nurse bees will walk right on in the new hive and be accepted fine, the older foragers will fly back to the parent colony.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    I have been experimenting on wintering nuc's . I started some a few years back the first of sept. I had about a 50 percent survival rate. I have moved the starting date to August first and they build up great and have plenty of stores for winter. Time will help fill in the frames but if you don't have a big enough mass of bees they will build very slowly and may get cleaned out by yellow jackets around here.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    David, if possible I try to use about to emerge capped brood, and I start them with 2 fairly filled frames and adhering bees in the warmth of June and July. If you are using a double deep shake the bees of the frames and put an excluder between the two boxes; Capped brood, or about to be capped brood, goes above the excluder. Leave it above the excluder for about a week, and then take it and adhering bees for the splits. The queen will be below the excluder and will be left behind. The bees covering the brood won't drift as they will be nurse bees. Those two frames of soon to emerge brood should contain almost 2-3 pounds of bees. Reduce the entrance to about 1/2 inch or less at first in the nuc for security. This is also a good way to ensure no rogue queen cells develop because the window for their appearance has closed as the queen has been isolated from the frames.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    Quote Originally Posted by BGhoney View Post
    I have been experimenting on wintering nuc's . I started some a few years back the first of sept. I had about a 50 percent survival rate. I have moved the starting date to August first and they build up great and have plenty of stores for winter.
    Try starting some out even earlier. They'll build up into a second story and draw out several frames of foundation for you.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Nuc boxes ?

    I see the nuc master has joined the thread

    When starting nucs with limited drawn comb, say 2 frames of brood, a frame of honey/pollen, and 2 foundation or foundationless frames, is there much value in providing a mated queen?
    I was wondering if the lack of a mated queen might be offset by the bees drawing out more comb while waiting for the QC to mate and start laying?

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