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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Hi all,

    So I caught a nice big swarm last week (first time!) and stuck them in a 5 frame deep nuc box. They seem to have taken to their new box nicely, and I peeked in there today -- TONS of bees, drawing comb like mad, and even starting to bring in a bit of honey and pollen. So here's the question -- is my little nuc TOO little for them? I'm tempted, looking at them, to move them pretty quickly into a full deep box, since I'm worried that they are cramped. But is there something about recently hived swarms that I don't know? Do they tend to all stay in the box drawing comb for a few weeks, before sending out their foragers? Compared to my other hives, they have LOTS of bees in a small space -- frames too covered with bees, in fact, for me to see whether the queen is laying yet or not. Any thoughts from those with more experience than me very welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Seems like the queen should be laying after a week, should be safe to put em in a ten frame or you can stick another nuc box on top, I allways put my swarms in a ten frame (w/ a real small entrance reducer), then if they look dink I'll stick em in a nuc for a while

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Summerfield, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    If every frame is covered with bees and full of either brood, pollen, or honey...I'd give them a bigger box. I usually put average swarms in a ten frame deep with drawn comb...small swarms in five frame nucs.

    The rule isn't set in stone, though...if they are having trouble, it's okay to downsize the hive to help them fight off hive beetles, robbers, and other pests.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Compare the amount of bees against what you purchase in packages in terms of size, if its the same size as a package you might start in 10 frames then start off using 10 frames for the swarm. At this point, however, as they appear to be content with staying in the nuc I'd leave them alone for a few days or so before moving them. I always put a frame of brood from another hive with the swarm to help prevent them from taking off.

    If the bees are covering four out of the five frames in the nuc, you will have to move them sooner than later to 10 frames, especially if a nector flow starts.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Thanks! It sounds like they need more space, and I think I'll go ahead and either add another nuc box, or move em to an 8 frame deep. They are already covering 4 frames pretty thickly. I like the idea of adding some brood as well -- this would also slow down my monster hive, which I'm having trouble persuading not to swarm. Our nectar flow is slowing down here, but still strong enough that things are moving quickly. Appreciate the advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Just a word of caution about giving your swarm a frame of brood, don't swap frames to your big hive till you can tell what part of town they came from eh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: After Hiving the New Swarm...

    Just FYI, I moved them smoothly to an 8 frame deep today -- the queen was running around, no eggs that I could see yet, but they are drawing tons of comb, and bringing in supplies. Hopefully brood in a week, when I'll check them next. Thanks again for advice.

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