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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Advice on a nuc.

    I made up five or so nucs and introduced queens to them. I ended up with one that just exploded in population. I opened it up yesterday and all five frames were covered in bees and it had 3 full frames solid with brood. I was concerned that the population would simply be to much and that I may end up with a fall swarm. I pulled two of the three frames of brood and replaced them with empty comb.

    My question is what do I do with the other brood? Is it too late in the season to have them raise their own queen and start another nuc? Should I just put it in another hive? Seems like a waste to put two beautiful frames of brood in a hive that will shortly be culling their numbers.

    Any advice appreciated.

    ~Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Give it another 5 frame box if they need the space.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Give it another 5 frame box if they need the space.

    That makes logical sense but I guess I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around why use a nuc at all then. More specifically how small is to small, to big and what are the advantages/disadvantages at each size.

    So a colony can survive on a small 4-5 frame nuc, but in my area it is suggested that a hive have two deeps to make it thru the winter as a full colony. How/why two deeps but nucs can survive as only five frames? Why would a single deep nuc/hive survive?

    Your suggestion makes perfect sense to me and would be a simple thing to do as the nuc in question happens to be in a deep that I split in half and happens to be the lone nuc, meaning the other half of the deep is empty. Pull the divider and move the frames over and voila, they are in a full deep. Again, makes perfect sense...just don't know why they wouldn't die over winter. Then again I guess I'm pretty clueless as to why a nuc would survive over winter when generally a hive takes two deeps.

    I may take your suggestion and just see how they fair compared to the other nucs.

    ~Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    i find bees move up easier than laterally. I use a lot of 2 or even 3 story 5 frame nucs and have pretty good wintering success.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,848

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    I think a lot of overwintered 'nucs' are not single story, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. I think MP says they use a medium super on top but I don't think he uses traditional 5 frame boxes either.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Westford, MA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    I was at the EAS in PA and he talked about overwintering nucs. Basically he uses a 10 frame deep with partition in the middle and have 2 nucs side-by-side. Then put a medium on top (with partitioning).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oakville, CT
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    I am very interested in this topic as well, I was reading that a double deep should weigh 150 or so lbs for winter, and have been wondering how people have nucs that survive the winter. Seems to me that with less bees it would be more stress on each bee to keep tje temperature up all winter?? Of Course I also think local survivor nucs are probably stock I want to raise hives from, does that sound right?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Andover, MA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Mike, you will see a lot of the nucs over wintered in groups side by side. They can share a side wall to conserve heat. I'm not sure the 150 lb is an absolute need even if you divide it by 2 for 5 frame nucs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Mike Palmer says that the bees make enough bees, and given enough time, they gather enough stores to provision the cavity they are given for the winter.
    I would of left the brood where it was, and given them a second level. That is how I overwinter, in 2 levels, with an occasional three levels here and there. For example: Tonight I found a two storey nuc that had gone queenless, I just put each box below 2 queenright nucs - they are both in 3 levels now.
    One of the reasons nucs are likely to survive is because of the brood break. The brood break is quite extended when you allow them to make a queen, but even though there may be time for the queen to get mated and laying I am not sure there is enough time for them to provision the hive this year.
    I am further north than you and am finding that June is the optimal month for the process of starting nucs with 2-3 frames of brood, a frame of honey, a 5th frame, and a queen cell. When the new queen starts laying I add a second level of frames and then by winter there will be 55-65 pounds of honey that they have gathered themselves. They are alive in spring because:
    1) The brood break has made mites a non-issue.
    2) They have had enough time match their balance their population, and provision their cavity how they like it.
    3) They like a skinny hive. One theory is that they don't starve themselves into a corner like they sometimes do in large hives.
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Ad...ml?sort=6&o=27

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    I am very interested in this topic as well, I was reading that a double deep should weigh 150 or so lbs for winter, and have been wondering how people have nucs that survive the winter. Seems to me that with less bees it would be more stress on each bee to keep tje temperature up all winter??
    I've taken 5 frame singles through the winter successfully with fondant on the top bars. Small clusters can handle the cold here if they are dry and well fed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Towers9 View Post
    I was at the EAS in PA and he talked about overwintering nucs. Basically he uses a 10 frame deep with partition in the middle and have 2 nucs side-by-side. Then put a medium on top (with partitioning).
    No, not a medium. On top of each nuc I add a deep 4 frame super. 8 1/8" wide x 9 5/8" deep

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Andover, MA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    Also keep in mind that Mike Palmer is doing this successfully in an area that is a lot colder than most of you will see.
    His area has occasional winter days that never get much above zero.

    Addison

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Re: Advice on a nuc.

    I have a suspicion that another part of the reason for the success in overwintering nucs is that they have a decent length of time to get a balanced colony.
    It must be a stressor for a colony to build enough bees to fill a cavity of a given size, and then have that cavity diminish more than 50% as the supers are removed. Don't get me wrong, I am not dissing honey producers I have produced about 1100 pounds myself so far this year, but surely the removal of supers must cause a disruption that goes beyond the stress of simply removing a lot of honey.

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