Re: Overwintering Nucs
Karla, it was an issue for me last year, too, because all my nucs had new queens, and I stared them in August. As Michael recommended, I fed the heck out of them and they also had the advantage of the fall flow we get up here. They had stores on all or part of four of five frames, but that was not enough.
Now, I am running only 5-frame nucs, so they do not have any extra boxes or frames, and I am using polystyrene nucs. The plus is that they keep the bees pretty snug; the negative is that they keep the bees pretty snug. By that I mean that the bees are warmer, so they are more active, so they eat more stores. I know that Michael doesn't like it, but for me using dry sugar during the winter saved my nucs, well two of them at least. I also used it on the hives I started from packages, because I cut some corners with them going into winter, and I know it saved some of them, too. All the hives eventually ate everything on the paper, and I did not see any problems from using it. Hopefully, with this nice goldenrod flow we are now having up here, they will really pack it away for winter, so I won't have to worry about the main hives.
Checked the bees yesterday and all new queens have been accepted and are laying (7 nucs, 1 hive - 4 Russian, 4 Sooper Yooper). It is amazing how quickly and heavily the new queens lay. Here is a shot of a frame from a nuc. The bees JUST started drawing it out, yet you can already see eggs in the middle (and some pollen in a few cells above and to the right. Sorry for the blurry pic - hard to hold the frame and take the shot, while in 90+ degree weather in a bee suit. The frame is upside down, BTW.
“If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie