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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    HI
    so I am about 5 weeks or so away from getting my 1st nuke ( first bees ever ) . I am trying to sort out what to feed them 1:1 sugar water or sugar cakes ?
    pollen patties or no .
    they should be arriving the 1st week in may .
    as I am a 1st year beek I have no left over resources from last year .
    sugar water is probably the easiest to do but i am worried about the PH level . would sugar cake be better or will it make a difference ?
    what about pollen patties should i get some and put it in with them ? there should be flows on in early may , dandy lions and possibly apples . but if the weather is bad they may not be able to get out to get it .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,020

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    It's commonly referred to as a "nuc" (short for "nucleus colony"). Obtaining your 1st "nuke" could be expensive and dangerous. I wouldn't recommend it.

    All kidding aside, you should feed them some 1:1 sugar water in a feeder, hive top preferably. No sugar cakes, no pollen patties. Just 1:1 sugar water. Continue to give it to them as long as they'll take it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    1:1 sugar to water by weight not volume. 5:3 has better "shelf life. feed a pollen substitute patty if there is no pollen yet where you are. feed the pollen sub. in the hive about 1/2 to 1 kg. at a time. also feed the syrup with some sort of in the hive feeder as much as they want at least till early summer... dry or sugar cake is only for winter use. if you do not have drawn comb you will want to feed longer than if the bees have drawn comb.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    so do you try to adjust the PH of the sugar water to around 4.5 for spring feeding or do you just go with 1:1 and not worry about it ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,020

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    Don't worry about it. The bees do just fine with regular 1:1.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,997

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    Nukes are not dangerous! I stacked them on eighty thousand pounds of solid rocket propellant for over twenty years and didn't have a single one go off! I have fed 1:1 syrup for twice that long and found the bees thrive and prosper on it. Good quality pollen substitute is definatelygood to put on bees to build them up also. Good luck with your new bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    945

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    Put a feeder jar with very small holes in the lid (use solid lid if you can) on top of 3/8" or 1/2" pieces of wood over the hole in the inner cover. Put another box on top of the inner cover to cover the jar, then put the top on the hive. A medium will cover a pint jar, a deep will cover a quart.
    If you use two piece canning lids, I've read that you need to reverse the lid part so the rubberized part faces the ring part to get a better seal and prevent leakage. If you have large temperature swings, the jar may leak anyway. You should be aware of that issue. The bees won't drink cold syrup if the night temperature is lower than 50 F so you may want to try dampened sugar directly on top of the frames. Put a piece of newspaper on the frames, give room all the way around the edges, mist with water, put sugar on it, mist with water to get the sugar to clump up. You'll need a spacer or another box to give room so the bees can get to the sugar. I use 1 1/2" spacers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    Quote Originally Posted by NSBee View Post
    they should be arriving the 1st week in may .
    In your area, first week of may, there should be abundant forage for your bees, and they likely dont need any feed at all. It's a nucleus colony, so it should come with frames of bees that have larvae in all stages of development, and enough honey, nectar and pollen in those frames to feed that amount of larvae. This is very different from a package being dumped onto fresh new frames with no comb, which does need a lot of feed to get started. You want them to expand and grow into larger boxes, but if you feed to much syrup right off, they will back fill the brood nest with syrup, and leave no room for the queen to lay up new brood for expansion.

    A healthy nuc shouldn't need feed unless you are in a dearth with nothing blooming and producing nectar, highly unlikely in early May. In that case, a liter or so of 1:1 sugar syrup will keep them in carbohydrates until there is nectar flowing. They should have no problem finding pollen of various types the first day at that time of year.

    If you have doubts about wether or not there is anything local blooming for your nuc, a simple rule of thumb for a newbie, look around for dandelions. If you have dandelions in bloom, the bees dont need feed.

    Our first year with bees, I read to much, and bought into the 'feed feed feed' mantra, kept feeders on even with lots blooming. I learned quickly how to chase and hive swarms.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: New Beek what to feed a new nuke?

    a lot of valid answers have been posted for your question. your original question shows you are aware of the bad weather variable. for some one further south reading this, be aware of the small hive bettele nursery that pollen patties may provide, also early may where you are may be like early april down south.. you will do well in the long run. there will be some problems along the way, that will provide "learning experiences".

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