First nuc attempt......
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vineland, nj
    Posts
    42

    Default First nuc attempt......

    Ok so I purchased a nucleus at the beginning of the year. It wasn't doing well at all and I thought I lost the queen. The company was nice and sent me a replacement queen. When I went to install her in the nuc I found a laying queen in there already......not sure if she was the original or if they made her. Now with this extra queen I decided to make a last minute attempt at creating another nucleus.

    I removed three frames of brood from a full size hive I have and a couple honey/pollen frames and a few thousand bees. I moved the nuc to my buddies house. The following week when I checked on it the queen never emerged from the queen cage and had died. However to my surprise, the hive was able to make and cap a queen cell on one of he frames! It's been about three weeks and I checked the nuc a few days ago and the queen is still capped, I'm expecting her to emerge any day. My problem is that there are not many worker bees left. I am feeding and there are frames with pollen and honey in them still. Should I let nature run its course? Or should I put another frame of brood in there? Which I really don't want to do because I would rather not keep taking from my main hive. Any suggestions.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,876

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    From what i hear, dont know if its true but when the queen mates and on her return to the hive bees will follow her. About 3 lbs maybe. They smell her pheromones and want to be with her and come back to her hive. If thats true you should be ok. I think someone with more time raising thier own queens can verify that. But if your queen from the donor hive is laying good it shouldn't be a problem stealing another frame. Theres still plenty time left to build up. I think you should be good. If you removed 3 frames of brood they should be emerging now or very soon too so the count will go up and bees move up in thier duties and the forager count will go up. I think you will be good if the queen mates on time. Soneone with more experience in this will chime in.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Frio County, Texas, USA
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    Quote Originally Posted by Quad1993 View Post
    It's been about three weeks and I checked the nuc a few days ago and the queen is still capped, I'm expecting her to emerge any day. Any suggestions.

    If I read this correctly, she is not going to emerge. If it has been 3 weeks and the queen cell is still capped, it has been too long.
    John

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    Recombine! Too late to start a split in NJ. If you introduce brood now the queen would not emerge until the 20th of July providing they choose a newly hatched larva. . Probably will not be laying for 5 days or more, Although you will have an autumn flow I doubt the hive will be ready for winter.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    how are there not many worker bees left? 3 weeks ago you had 3 frames of brood and a few thousand bees. somethings wrong. i had 3 nucs abscond on me a week or so ago due to overheat/humidity. perhaps that may have happened to yours? your queen should have emerged around june 26. that timeframe was hot and very humid.
    i agree to recombine. it is mostly too late to start splits here. you have a chance if you make them really strong with all drawn comb, but it doesnt sound like you have the resources to do so.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vineland, nj
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    The nuc has been there for longer then three weeks....maybe around five weeks. The capped queen cell was found about three weeks ago. Give or take a few days.

    If he queen does manage to hatch and does somehow manage to mate and start laying. Does the hive Have a chance with limited worker bees?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    queen cells are only sealed for 8 days. any longer and the queen is not viable. with the weather we have had, you should have a queen laying not much longer than 30 days AFTER you put the last frame of eggs in that hive. 5 weeks is appropriate but not if you still had a capped queen cell after 2 weeks time. that make sense?
    not only does it take bees to make honey, it takes bees to make bees. you need bees to take care of larvae. you need bees to manage hive temperature and ventilation. excess bees are then assigned forager roles. they need nectar and pollen to grow new bees. sugar syrup can replace nectar but you need to give them frames of bee bread or have ample foragers AND available pollen for them to get. currently i have only a little bit of clover pollen coming into my hives.
    the other takeaway is that if you are trying to get them to start QCs now, she will not start laying until the second week of august. this doesnt give enough time for enough rounds of brood to build up before sets in.
    please define "limited worker bees".

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard View Post
    From what i hear, dont know if its true but when the queen mates and on her return to the hive bees will follow her. About 3 lbs maybe.
    The only place I've ever read this was Les Crowder's top bar hive book... in some overly dramatized scene he was laying out for a queen going out to mate.
    Honestly... I think it's pretty much business as usual. No escort, no three pounds of bees...

    The queen leaves, does her thing, and hopefully returns.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vineland, nj
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    Well, I checked the nuc today and unfortunately flys and maggots moved in due t the deminished workers. So I ended my first attempt and a nuc. I did tear open the queen cell and to my surprise there was nothing in there.......the little bastards faked me out with an empty capped queen cell! Haha

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: First nuc attempt......

    bummer! read up and give it a try next year! now is time to work on getting them bees ready for winter.

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