Confining bees in a new nuc??
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Somers, CT, USA
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    47

    Default Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I am making up several nucs and have only one yard. When I did this last year all the flying bees returned to the original hive location as I knew they would. I have heard that if you close up the nuc for a period of time (2 days?) the flying bees will re-orient and remain with the nuc. Can anyone confirm this, and if so, how long must the nuc be closed to achieve this?

    Thanks,

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
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    394

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    this is what I have heard as well have not done so ever but should have last week when I made my split

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    458

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I have heard that bees have a very short memory (just 3 days). So if you keep them from flying for 3 days they will forget the original location. However, make sure they have enough ventilation ( a SBB would be ideal). A better alternative would be to move them to a location more than 2 miles for a few days and then bring them back. That is what I am planning to do next time I do a split. A friend has agreed to let me keep them in his property for a few days.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    319

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I did it a couple of weeks ago and it worked out fine. Left them for 3 days, new nuc was only 5 feet from original hive. Rolled up a piece of screen and used it to close the entrance. Fed them syrup. Have a beek friend who has gone from 4 to 24 hives in 2 years, all under his carport, and he highly recommends it.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    34,541

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Close up a nuc or colony in this sort of heat and you won't have to worry about reorientation, they'll all be dead. Why are you making nucs at this time of year?
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
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    1,015

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I have heard and like baked BEANS but never tried Baked BEE'S.
    If I were to try this I would put the Nucs in my basement. for the 3 days, but you will still need to feed them.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Somers, CT, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Mark,

    Well, first of all I have screened bottom boards and a robber screen on the front (close the escape hole -- extra ventilation). Second of all I've been following Michael Palmer's ideas of taking a poor a performing hive and dividing it up into nucs in July to take through the winter, and I think he makes a good case. I did this last year and they came through the winter thriving. Third, I use all insulated hives which reduce the solar gain during the day (R-7 walls as apposed to R-.75 for a regular pine box). Closed, these nucs have more access to ventilation than a regular nuc with a reduced entrance. My original question was to inquire if anyone had hard evidence on the reorientation, and if so, how long the bees had to be confined. If the nucs die from the heat I'll let you know.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    No need to let me know. Apparently you have things figured out. Now I don't need to worry about your bees getting cooked. I wouldn't have said anything had I known.
    Mark Berninghausen

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Romney, IN, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Cyrus,

    What are you using that gives R-7 insulation value?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Somers, CT, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Judy,

    You just got me thinking I may have misspoke. Went out to the shop to take another look at the materials I use and the r-value is 5.5 rather than 7 (still a big step up from .75). I make my own hive bodies from laminated panels of foil-backed rigid foam and luan skins with mitered corners. My winter covers have an r-value of about 10.5. I was shocked at how little honey was consumed by the nucs last winter, although 4 feet of snow probably helped insulation-wise.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I would never confine bees in the summer heat unless it's with screen wire to stop robbing and that would be only as long as it takes to get the robbers to leave.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    955

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I made two splits this year, first time I've done it.
    I didn't close them up or move them away from the parent hives. But I see there are foragers and working well.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Romney, IN, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus Brewster View Post
    Judy,

    You just got me thinking I may have misspoke. Went out to the shop to take another look at the materials I use and the r-value is 5.5 rather than 7 (still a big step up from .75). I make my own hive bodies from laminated panels of foil-backed rigid foam and luan skins with mitered corners. My winter covers have an r-value of about 10.5. I was shocked at how little honey was consumed by the nucs last winter, although 4 feet of snow probably helped insulation-wise.
    Cyrus,

    That still sounds like a big improvement. I have several 4x12 sheets that I bought from a window company closing a few years back. The outside is 1/2" plywood bonded with some sort of white vinyl on the exterior, and a 1/2" blue foam insulation in the middle, then 1/4" birch plywood on the inside. I don't know the R value, but it's got to be a LOT better than the commercial hives I'm using now. The only thing is, I'd have to build custom top covers. I have no problem building the SBB, but haven't attempted a top yet, mostly because of the metal flashing.

    I've been considering just cutting the fancy stuff and using it to surround the hive in the winter, but then you get into this hive being taller than that, and nucs, etc, etc. I think making hives out of it would be best for the bees.

    What do you think?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I've confined the 2 nucs I just made. Only 64 high today, so I'm thinking it should be fine. I also when I make a new hive put something strange in front of their entrance, almost as if blocking it but not really. This "new" structure will cause them to reorient. I have tried this several times and as yet have not had a problem. Hoping my luck continues.
    Zone 7B - central Arkansas. 8fr meds. 6 hives. 5 years. Still a beginner.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I've made hundreds of nucs that stayed in the same yard and never had problems with all the bees leaving. The older bees will return to the original hive but the young nurse bees will stay.

    The key to getting plenty of nurse bees is not to smoke the hive much so all the bees will stay on the comb. After you make the nuc, take a good frame of open brood and shake all the bees off the frame into the nuc.
    If you make nucs this way you should never need to close them up.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
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    535

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    I do like deepsouth except I add a frame of emerging brood. I let any flying bees go home. The bees that are born there in the next few days consider it home.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    DesAllemands, Lousiana
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    219

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    I do like deepsouth except I add a frame of emerging brood. I let any flying bees go home. The bees that are born there in the next few days consider it home.
    Yes the frames of brood i use to make nucs are emerging brood. With two frames of emerging brood, in a few days the nuc will be busting at the seems.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus Brewster View Post
    I am making up several nucs and have only one yard. Thanks,
    I sure hope you have mated queens to be making nucs there this time of year. Still way to early for me [even with mated queens] and I'm not that far away from you. Cold as it is today won't be an issue confining them.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Confining bees in a new nuc??

    DeepSouth, I had read not to use any smoke but to set the smoker in front of the hive, so that's what I did. I was amazed at how the girls were so sedate, just hanging out on the comb. Really cool. Still not sure I did the brood part right. I did put emerging brood in all of them, but I know I put one frame of eggs in one of them. Why is this not good? Amount of bees to cover?

    It was in the low 60s yesterday and sunny. A little chancey to do the install, but my next option was in 4 more days. I didn't like that option. I am never sure about the temps - how long before chilled brood, always makes me nervous.

    These were mated queens. But I've got tons of drones, doesn't that mean she'd mate (likely) if she were a virgin?

    Thanks for all the help!
    Zone 7B - central Arkansas. 8fr meds. 6 hives. 5 years. Still a beginner.

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