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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Round Rock, TX. USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    Hello All,
    I moved a nuc into a hive Saturday morning while the weather was cool & sunny. This was my first time to handle bees so I suited up and used a smoker. The bees were so easy to transfer that I may not have needed the gloves, jacket, etc. At the same time I poured a half-gallon of syrup into the division feeder that came with the nuc. Since then I've seen bees going in and out the entrance, many carrying pollen.

    All the instructions I've read said I shouldn't open the hive again for a week, but after a few days I realized I probably hadn't given them enough syrup to last a full week. Thursday afternoon I took more syrup out, suited up, but didn't use smoke. I slid the cover back just enough to expose the feeder to refill. First thing I noticed: there seemed to be a LOT more bees, and they were much more attentive to me moving around. So much for my worries about absconding. Since they seemed already agitated I didn't try to pull out any frames to look at what they've been doing. I just added the syrup and closed up.

    First question: Does anyone have an interpretation about the bees more territorial attitude? (There is a skunk in my neighborhood, but I've raised the hive off the ground a couple feet to prevent it from meddling.) Would the lack of smoke alone do this? A day without syrup? It was maybe 5 degrees colder, about 60F instead of 65F. Was it because it was 5PM instead of 10AM? Was this in my imagination?

    Second question: Should I still inspect them this weekend, a week after hiving but just 3-4 days after opening the hive? Of course I will use smoke this time. By luck I saw the marked queen when I moved them, so I know she was there last weekend.

    Last question for today: The nuc was arranged as feeder-brood-brood-brood-honey. I moved it into the hive in the same order with three empty frames on either side, followed by a board to close off the rest of the hive. Would it make more sense for the feeder to be on the other side of the honey frame? Or should I move an empty frame somewhere in between the feeder and the one honey frame?

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    CC - Welcome aboard!

    First two paragraphs - you are doing everything quite well.

    First question = yes, more agitated for 3 reasons Time of day, temperature, and now it feels more like home, so they are a little bit more ready to defend, especially without smoke.

    Second Question = Nah, you saw they were queenright, let them have the weekend off. Check them next weekend. Gotta let them be bees and do their bee biz.

    Third ? = Put the feeder to either side so you can pull the same trick - peekaboo at the feeder without angering them too much by taking the cover all the way off. As always, keep brood together and near the middle, with pollen on either side, then honey. They'll find the feeder.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    Kilocharlie pretty well answered all your questions. Do they have some foundation to work in there or is it all brood? If it is feeder brood brood brood honey consider putting them in a bigger box. Sounds like they and you are doing fine! Happy Beekeeping!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Round Rock, TX. USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    Thank you both. I will not rush out to do a full inspection now or tomorrow. Dan, the bees came on frames with foundation and I have foundationless frames for them to expand. The entire box is big enough for 25 deep frames, but they are restricted to to a smaller section until I see them draw out half the empty frames. As far as the bees can see, they have a box the same size as a standard Langstroth deep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,249

    Default Re: Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    I think I might not have put as many empty frames in to start with. When I first hived a 5 frame nuc in a long hive a month ago, I only added 2 foundationless frames, one between the brood frames and the one honey frame furthest from the entrance and the other on the entrance side of the brood nest. The one closest to the entrance did not get built out for a couple of weeks, but the one between the honey frame and the brood nest built out rapidly and was soon full of capped brood. I've been opening up the brood nest every week or so since, adding in empty frames. Now there are 13 frames in my oldest long hive.

    The conventional wisdom is to keep the bees in as small a space as is suitable to the number of bees you have-- for example, some folks will tell you the best box for a 3 pound package is a 5 frame nuc. One of the advantages of a long hive with a follower board is that you have very precise control over the size of the space. When I hived a package in another long hive a little over a week ago, I gave them a 6 frame space and a week after installation some of the freshly built comb had larvae already (I direct released the queen.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    899

    Default Re: Question about bee behavior after hiving nuc in horizontal Lang

    You might try introducing foundationless frames 1 at a time between two drawn combs (between the pollen and the honey is a good place - NOT in the cluster!) Most folk have a little bit better success using a starter strip of foundation. These two techniques tend to get comb drawn nice and straight a lot of the time.

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