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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    988

    Default Question about Making NUC's

    To begin with I will start by saying yes, I know the process well and have done many already. What i'm looking for is some input on a specific matter. At what time of the season do most beekeepers quit making NUC's to winter through with. More specifically at what time of the year can you make a NUC that will/should manage to get through the winter (IN A NUC 5 Frame Double Deep) without having to pull frames and do multiple manipulations to keep them from swarming.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    The answer is going to be a local one. In my area caged queen-introduced nucs can be made into August, but we have Eucalyptus bloom in December. The cut-off in September is because drones to mate with the new queens become unreliable or unavailable. My advice is completely irrelevant to your situation.

    Your landscape is going to have fall Ragweed and Erigeron (Aster daisy). How much and how reliable ? My guess is that even with Sub and unlimited syrup you will have a no-go date in July.

    You are going to need to experiment, and be able to predict the fall and winter weather in advance.

    My general point is that you become a better beekeeper by experimentation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ashtabula, OH
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    In NE Ohio I was told not to make any nucs after Sept. unless I have a mated queen to put into it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    Another consideration is whether you have drawn comb or not when expanding to the second story.
    Stuart Ratcliff - Beekeeping Journal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    I usual finish making my overwinter nucs in late July.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    759

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    I make mine up just after the blackberry flow (use leftover bees) in July. I am a small time guy and first year I got all 5 through winter, second year I got 0 to make it.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    JW has it right - it is a function of how much nectar/pollen flow you have left, and how much honey & pollen stores your bees will need. Talk to the older beek's in your area, paying attention to the local weather anomalies their bee yards are situated in - a few miles can make a huge difference. When in doubt, play conservative.

    The breed of bees plays some role, too. Russians cluster in frighteningly small winter clusters, and use stores so small that other races would never make it. They don't build up in time for Almonds. You could probably make up nucs with them a few weeks, maybe even a month later than Italians. Carniolans winter smaller than Italians, but build up earlier than Russians. I don't know how late I'd make up nucs with them - ask Dr. Susan Cobey. AMM's (German Black bees) are legendary for their ability to keep foraging long into the cold months, to build up early, to make lots of honey, and to sting you like Africanized bees. They could probably be made into nucs later than Italians.

    Also, learn to look for "winter hints" - some plants bloom and seed early because it was a dry year, others do in anticipation of a cold winter. The mice store up more food and pack more insulation before cold winters. Some birds head south earlier before colder winters. This gift - "reading" the weather before it comes - makes for a very successful beekeeper. I'm not saying it comes easy....
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 06-12-2014 at 08:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    The AMM are improving in Europe by exchanging breeder stock within a group of beeks there. They are on the net the last time I searched.
    And why would you want to read the weather when all I have to do is press a button to get instant weather updates?
    Definitely look at the plants and birds though. They know what they are doing for their survival too. The bees know how to
    pack for the harsh winter also so don't collect too much Fall honey.
    I luv bee source!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    Here, I consider the latest August with a mated queen. July if I want them to raise their own.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Essex NY
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Question about Making NUC's

    Here in eastern NY (Champlain Valley) late June through mid July with cells and up to the first week of August with a laying queen. So much depends on the late summer flow, how strong the nucs is and how much honey/pollen you can start it with. I've had success with as little as four frame nucs (not this year though) as well as 8 and 10 frame sized colonies.

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