Lots of bees and a 5-Frame Nuc - Question???
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Lots of bees and a 5-Frame Nuc - Question???

    I have run out of equipment. A swarm that I captured yesterday is in a waxed cardboard 5-frame nuc. There were a fair amount of bees. Probably 4 or 5 pounds of bees.

    Anyway, I had to use to cardboard nucs to get all of the bees without worrying about the queen escaping. I opened up both boxes this morning and they bees are staying put.

    But the problem is that the bees have beared up the front of the nuc closing off the screen window in front which only leaves the small screened window in the back. They not only have beared up the front of the box but down the cinder block the nuc is sitting on all the way to the ground.

    Will these bees leave if I can't get a bigger box for them? Right now I am out of equipment and really can't afford to buy any more. I don't have any more BBs either!!!

    The first photo doesn't show the bearding as bad as it is now. This shot was taken earlier. There are probably twice as many bees bearding now.

    http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...e/100_5777.jpg

    http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...e/100_5809.jpg
    Last edited by USCBeeMan; 04-23-2009 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Adding pictures
    De Colores,
    Ken

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land O Lakes, FL
    Posts
    264

    Default

    You will probably be ok for a short period of time but you need to get equipment soon. You will be losing bees over the next few weeks until th new eggs start to hatch so the population will actually decrease before it increases.

    Can you get equipment in a week or two?

    Once, they build out those 5 frames and lay up in there, they may swarm if you don't get them in a bigger box.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Arlington, TX, USA
    Posts
    453

    Default

    Go over to home depot, or some other wood supplier and get some 1X8 pine. Cut it up, screw it together and you got yourself some medium hive bodies. Good luck with the bees!
    Last edited by daknoodle; 04-23-2009 at 01:59 PM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    378

    Default

    Think outside the box. A top bar hive can be made from a half barrel, a plastic storage tub, bathtub - any vessel big enough to hold them. Use boards, sticks, pipe, whatever, for bars. Cut entrance and air holes as needed. The arrangement doesn't have to be perfectly perfect.

    When standard equipment becomes available, cut the combs off the makeshift bars and wire or rubberband them into frames.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default

    Thanks guys! But the bees swarmed and left. Found them next door in a cherry tree. There was only 4 frames in the 5-frame nuc. So I got a botched up brood box I had made put them in it and then made up 5 more frames. So now I have a brood box with 9 frames 1 of which is comb with honey.

    I had a screen inner cover so I nailed 2 2x2 pieces across the bottom of the inner cover then I nailed a piece of ply wood to the bottom of that to make a "make do" bottom board. There are 2 opening on each side of the screen board so I closed up 3 sides. I then put a queen excluder on top of this "bottom board" then put the brood box. Took it all over to the tree and got out as much of the bees as possible and then left it by the tree. Hopefully the rest of the bees will go in and I have the queen trapped.

    The other swarm I caught yesterday (that was from one of my hives) also left. It was in an 8-frame brood box with a screened bottom board. It had 8 frames of foundation. This second swarming happend minutes after I started trapping the swarm mentioned above.

    I hurried over to one of my hives and snatched out a med frame of comb with a little bit of brood and some honey and pollen. Swapped it out with one of the foundation frames in the 8-frame box. So now the box has 7 brood frames with foundation only and 1 med frame with a little brood.

    Poured a bunch of the bees back in this box as these bees swarmed not far away into a small peach tree. Kept scooping them up and putting them in the box or in front of the box. Bees were marching in this box (again like yesterday). Hopefully they will stay this time with a frame that has a little bit of brood on it. Don't have another queen excluder. This swarm was/is huge. As I said yesterday it must be close to 10 pounds of bees!!!

    Think these 2 swarms will stay now?
    De Colores,
    Ken

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    846

    Default Do you need to feed a swarm right away that is put in on only foundation?

    what about feeding?
    my husband caught a swarm today while I am still 2 hours away. he got it in a nuc box, but with no food.
    Do you need to feed a swarm that is put in on only foundation?
    how long until it needs food?
    karla

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,770

    Default

    Bee swarms survived for millions of years without being fed. I rarely feed mine. They are bees, not pets.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Orting, Washington
    Posts
    73

    Default

    These posts are always better with pics thanks USC.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ladoga, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default

    I fed the swarm I captured because it was raining, was going to rain, and DID rain until today. They consumed a quart in 3 days.

    Now the sun is shining....and they are hard at work.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,965

    Default

    I suspect the quesion of whether to feed or not to feed a swarm is really a question about the swarms population and the season. A larger swarm also has a larger field force to collect nectar, but more souls to feed. It is not uncommon for swarms to issue in the worst of conditions so even with a large field force there may be little or nothing for them to collect.

    I have long suspected that the first rule of beekeeping is to make NO rules since the circumstance or context of the question will produce quite different answers to the same question. that's my story and I ain't stickin' to it....

  12. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by winevines View Post
    what about feeding?
    how long until it needs food?
    When Bees Swarm out in a regular swarm (Not a hunger swarm), they take with them food enough for three days. So if it is a fresh swarm you can leave those alone for three days, and this time of year you don't need to feed them if the weather is reasonable for flying.

    Best regards Jorn Johanesson, Denmark
    Retired beekeeper, Free beekeeping software
    https://apimo.dk [email protected]

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