Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Transfer small colony to nuc?

    I have two hives that survived the winter, so far. Both have NWC queens from S. Cobey project through local beekeepers. One queen has just started to lay, the other has not. The colony that hasn't started is small, and in the top of a double 10 frame deep eating their own honey. The bottom deep has a few bees wondering around two empty brood frames(cleaning them?), or eating the honey there. There is no empty comb to lay in the top deep.
    Would "squeezing" the small colony into a 5 frame nuc, or two stacked 5 frame nucs help them? There is adequate ventilation in the double deeps, no sign of mites, just a lot of "empty space"(actually, it's full of unused honey) for such a small cluster. It's still early here in Washington state. 50 degree temps last week had them out gathering pollen and cleansing, this week back to forties and rain. Not much nectar yet, early pollen from trees mostly.
    Should I wait, as "the bees know best", or put them in a smaller, more cozy home for build-up? Thanks.
    I don't keep bees, I tend bees. Does this make me a beet?
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Transfer small colony to nuc?

    I can only tell you about what I tried in similar situation...That is, both scenarios you are asking about, move to smaller space or just let them be. In either case they managed just fine. Especially, if honey was in very close proximity to the cluster. Carnies seem to wait a bit before the spring really shows up and resources become plentiful.
    Also, if your weaker colony that has not started yet, is clustered only in the top deep, and your bottom deep has plenty of honey, you could just reverse. If reversing would not disrupt the cluster, and they can easily access the honey in the deep above, they will slowly move as they need the space.
    If you are concerned that a lot more cold and nasty weather is ahead, you can move them in a nuc, maintaining cluster integrity as much as possible and make sure they are very close to honey. I place honey frames on each side of the cluster.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by apis maximus; 03-17-2013 at 08:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Transfer small colony to nuc?

    I might just wait. They have space and food. They have a queen. Give it a little time.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Transfer small colony to nuc?

    Thanks. One of the things I find most helpful in the responses to beginner's questions I've asked is the patient, almost calming, answers from the moderators.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,736

    Default Re: Transfer small colony to nuc?

    It's spring. They will rapidly fill space and expand as soon as things are blooming. I usually try to leave them alone whenever I can and it makes sense. They are in a hive that they arranged and they ate and they have some idea where things are...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads