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Thread: Nucs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Essex, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Nucs

    I set up a couple of nucs the other day and have a couple of issues. I got a couple of NW carnolians and pulled frames of bees from two hives ( one italian and one carniolan), with brood of all ages. I waited about 6 hours before putting the queens, in their JZBZ cages into the nucs. Conventional wisdom is to wait 24 hrs., but I have heard that within 2 hrs. the bees know they have no queen.

    48 hours later, the italians have freed their queen and she is strutting around like she owns the place. In the carniolan nuc, I found a queen cup with a "c" larva about 3 to 4 days old. I removed it. Queen has not been freed. I also shook a few more bees into both nucs, after spritzing them with some sugar water to beef up the population. Fast forward 2 hours and the carniolan nuke is being robbed like crazy. I closed off the hive completely, trapping a bazillion robber bees into the hive.

    Question: Will, in Star Trek term, will the robber bees be assimilated given that they will not be able to get out? I will keep them closed up until tomorrow evening, at the least.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Nucs

    The robbers will be dead (killed) or accepted as part of the hive already.

    I 'd make some simple robbing screens (window screen works fine) and put them on in the AM before many bees have left for the field.

    And wouldn't be spritzing sugar syrup -- that's likely what triggered robbing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RqGlXtr4iA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: Nucs

    One of the hazards of shaking in bees from the same yard as I assume that's what you did. 6 hours probably was too long and the one hive already decided to make a new queen. Just check for cells, if the bees are being nice to her cage just release her, check for cells in a few days. When I pull nucs I introduce after I move the nuc box to it's location (less than 30 minutes). Just do a test introduction first.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,944

    Default Re: Nucs

    'Tis late in the season to be creating nucs now - best of luck! Our season is wrapping up here. The first frost should be mid month.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Nucs

    Never introduce bees to a nuc in the same yard, and feed the nuc at the same time. Cos at least some of those bees will go home and tell the other bees where the syrup is. if you give bees, wait at least 2 days before feeding syrup.

    Having robbing during queen introduction can cause queen losses, the bees are edgy and ready to attack anything they are not fully happy with, including the queen if she is new.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Nucs

    This is another reason Why I always advocate moving splits to an out yard more than two miles away. It helps the start to recognize their individuality, and create a hierarchy of their own. Right now the foragers are maintaining loyalty to their old hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Never introduce bees to a nuc in the same yard, and feed the nuc at the same time. Cos at least some of those bees will go home and tell the other bees where the syrup is. if you give bees, wait at least 2 days before feeding syrup.

    Having robbing during queen introduction can cause queen losses, the bees are edgy and ready to attack anything they are not fully happy with, including the queen if she is new.

    Great advice, I don't have another yard, so I put on robbing screens, but simply waiting to feed a couple of days makes great sense. Wish I had read that earlier this year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Essex, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Nucs

    Thanks for all of the input. Some sage advice. I do have a couple of other locations that I can use in the future for nucs. I've got both much shut down for the day and will take stock of where we stand when I get home from work today.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: Nucs

    What Oldtimer says, I call it "resource recovery", where some of the bees go back and the mother hive robs the poor nuc out to nothing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Essex, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Nucs

    An update on these nucs - I like closure in these threads. I made some robber screens for both nucs and put them in place before I left town on business. I got home too late last night to check on them. This morning, I checked both out. The one that was being robbed, still had not release the queen and it was apparent a battle royale hand taken place, lots of dead bees on the SBB and about a frame and a half of bees.

    I moved the nuc to another site, released the queen and moved another strong nuc at that site to place the weakened nuc in its place for the foragers to help build up. My hope i that it will work.

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