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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    hampshire uk
    Posts
    2

    Smile Stocking Warre from National NUC

    Hi all,
    New to the forum have been keeping bees for the last 4 years on Langstroth Jumbo's but after loosing my last remaining colonies over the UK winter have decided to go down the Warre path.

    I have ordered a NUC from Thornes that will be on national frames. My question is what is the best way to get this into the Warre.

    Many thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stocking Warre from National NUC

    First: forget about adapters of any sorts.

    Go for the chop method".

    If you shake or brush the bees off the comb and into a container, the comb is empty and can be worked and cutted quitely easily into shape and size.

    True, for a beginner this might be too much. But with a little help of another more experienced beekeeper this is the best method. For the bees! They soon recover and grow really strong.

    In a grow down setup the broodnest shrinks and the bees will attempt to swarm. You end up with a weakened colony going into winter. Bad start for the next year.

    Move the frame hive aside, so flying bees are out of the way. Pull frame, search for the queen, cage queen with a catching clip, brush off bees into a container. Walk away with the empty comb. It is a nice trick to walk through a bush or some brush, bees won't follow through green leaves and twigs.

    Cut off the side and bottom bars, cut the comb to size, a little triangular, cut the topbar to size, set into a Warré hive box.

    Repeat, until all combs are transfered.

    Set the Warré hive on the place of the old frame hive. Flying bees quickly return to the entrance and start fanning. Introduce the queen. Shake bees out of the container onto a board in front of the Warré, so they run up to the new entrance and into the new hive.

    The bees and beekeeper will be puzzled, but in a few days the hive starts growing strong again.

    The main task is brushing and shaking bees off the comb and walk aside to cut the frames to size.

    Cut the combs into a slightly angled shape. This makes the combs more sturdy. They don't break easily this way. Not so important with brood combs but with heavy honey combs.






    Put the box with transfered combs (and topbars alongside) onto an empty box with topbars and starter strips.

    PS: I use a handsaw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Stocking Warre from National NUC

    I tried the grow down method eight times without much success, never again. They did swarm as Bernhard warns.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    hampshire uk
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Stocking Warre from National NUC

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephenpbird View Post
    I tried the grow down method eight times without much success, never again. They did swarm as Bernhard warns.
    Thanks for that Bernard, looks like i should be able to handle that. So the key is to cut the national frames away from the site and the bees? And I am presuming that I put the cut national frames in the middle of the top of two Warre boxes?

    Could you expand on what the grow down method is? Just so I know not to attempt that in the future.

    Cheers

    Simon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Stocking Warre from National NUC

    I have done both methods with success, but I will tell you that the chop and crop method is the most stressful on you and your bees. My bees survived it, but I often wonder how.

    The easiest method I have found was to force them to grow down. Wait until they have filled out that nuc. Almost to the point of overcrowding. Then what you do is shake the bees into the Warre. Queen and all, although if you can find the queen and find a gentler way of doing it I would advise it. Once all of the bees have been shaken down put a queen excluder above the warre box and place the nuc above the excluder. You lose absolutely zero brood in this manner. Nurse bees will move back up to the top box and the queen will be forced down into the Warre box. This will force the bees to start drawing out that box. When the top box is filled with honey, go ahead and harvest it. You could also choose to go ahead and then chop and crop it into a Warre box if you wish. No dead bees. No frustrated beekeeper.

    Edit-I forgot to mention that you will need to find a way to customize the queen excluder to make it work.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stocking Warre from National NUC

    As said, I prefer the short and clear cut over the longtime cruelty. (Keeping the queen outside the broodnest is real stress for the bees! Never noticed the sound of such a colony?!)

    If you are experienced you can do a cutout in minutes. A nuc doesn't have many frames, usually five frames. It takes less than a minute to find the queen, another 5 minutes to shake off the bees and 5 minutes to do the cutting. (Yes, combs and bars go into the center of the top box.) That is really quick. Since you have experience in basic bee handling it won't be stressful for you. It is stressful for beginners, but that is why I said: get help from an experienced beekeeper.

    And soon after the chop, the queen resides within the broodnest. Queen is happy, bees are happy. They start gathering pollen and all the same day.

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