The bees are finally coming!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Follansbee, WV, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default The bees are finally coming!

    I just got a pick up appointment for my two nucs. Thursday night at 8:00pm. In the email it says the nucs will NOT be screened. What? I'm bringing them home in the back of my Grand Cherokee. So how do I screen them for transport? I have plenty of #8 hardware cloth. I guess I'll take that and a roll of duct tape along with a bed sheet. A little more advance notice would have been nice. So I guess I'll have to wait until Friday to install them. Fortunately, I'm off on Friday. Should I do it after the field bees have oriented and left for the day or wait until Saturday? I never anticipated an evening pick-up. Talk about a wrench in the works right off the bat.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    131

    Default

    You have to pay extra for a screen bag typically. The nuc will have a closable entrance but there may be some stragglers on the outside that could fly around an enclosed car. You don't want to waste expensive hardware cloth. You will be fine to transport as is. Call them if your concerned.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    You can put the nuc in a screened laundry bag to keep the stragglers enclosed. I bought a $2-$3 bat at Walmart and it worked well.

    not a great picture, but there were a few bees crawling around on the mesh when I got home mesh nuc bag 2018.jpg

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,260

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I've used the laundry bag from Walmart also. Works well. Now i just use a moving screen and if a few are flying around inside the suv, no big deal.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    When I brought my first ever nucs home, the beek that sold them to me showed me how to plug the hole with grass. I've used that method ever since whenever it's necessary to close them up.
    Evening pick up is the optimum time. Most all the foragers have returned.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    Ventilation is important. We're just talking NUC's here. Screen the entrances and remove any bee's clinging to the NUC's prior to loading.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I'd spring for both the screens and bags.

    https://www.boston.com/news/local-ne...-set-bees-free

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Follansbee, WV, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    They called me today to confirm tomorrows pick-up. I have been so busy trying to get the pool and patio built that I nearly forgot to wax the foundations. That's done now and I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I couldn't find mesh laundry bags at Walmart, so I bought a big roll of cheesecloth. That should be fine. I have a few questions though.
    The main spring flow is over here. There are still some blackberry blossoms, but they are fading fast. The tulip poplar are blooming, but there aren't many around. So here's the big one everybody dreads...feed or don't feed? If I feed, go with 1:1? How about pollen sub? I may hold off on the pollen to see if they bring any in on their own.
    Also, I asked about the last time they were treated for mites and how they were treated. She couldn't answer that because she doesn't work the bees I guess. But she did say that they recommend treating with formic as soon as the hive is big enough (she actually said 6 frames of bees). Should I wait until I do a count or just hit them when they are covering more frames (I would think at least 8 frames)? I don't like the idea of treating "in the blind" so to speak, but they raised them and have been doing it in this area for years. I'm inclined to trust their judgement.
    And finally, should I install them after orientation flights slow down on Friday or wait until Saturday late morning?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I am new and have really only worked with swarms but would think that a package would be close. You have plenty of time to get the hive to winter weight. I am new and can only tell you what I do but I feed close to 2 to one sugar water. It is thick enough that it does separate and leave some hard sugar. I personally would feed at least to give the bees a jump start. I would have the entrance of the hive reduced down to one or two bees width until the bees start backing up and and start piling up at the entrance trying to get in. I doubt you have to worry about robbing cause things are breaking lose here and there is lots of forage but why take the chance.

    I would not worry about pollen. There is plenty out there. It is nice to have sugar in the hive encase we hit a rainstorm and it is good to learn how to feed just to know.

    I do not treat and so don't know good advice to give you. I do say that it probably depends on what you treat with. It would seem to me that if you use OAV or OA dribble, you would want to do it immediately before the bees cap any brood cause you get better kill if there is no capped brood. Still I have never did it and so you may want to wait for better advice or investigate.

    I don't know what to tell you on best time to dump them in the hive. I would dump them when I got them but it might be better close to dark. I can't believe it would be that big of deal either way.

    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Follansbee, WV, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default

    These are 5 frame deep nucs, not packages.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I would put them in a ten frame hive and feed till they have two combs of honey in the hive. That is enough for a rainy spell. I play it by ear and sometimes I feed and sometimes I don't. My last swarm, I put a 30 ounce coffee can of thick sugar water and refilled it half way with thin. So about a gal or a little less. I probably won't give them more till fall but they are not my only hive and if make a mistake, it won't kill me. In your situation, I would probably feed a little more. The university of MO had a tutorial that said have about 50 lbs of sugar per hive when starting out.

    I don't know about the treating and its timeing. I should have read your post better and I would have caught you were starting with 5 comb.

    I think you could do nothing except make sure in fall the hive had enough weight and be ok but it may be better trying to keep them building comb. There is a flow on right now where I am.
    Good luck this year.
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I would get them on Thursday, Make sure they are ventilated, put them where their new hive will be, then Friday, move them to the side, Place your hive bodies, inspect frames when you transfer to see if they have any honey or nectar, place frames in hive, and depending on how much they have and condition, determine if they need feed or not.

    I would not have a problem treating them as soon as you install if you are concerned. How are you going to treat ? You mentioned they said formic ? would you use MAQS ?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,260

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    Smokey, the laundry bags are near the ironing boards. Bring them home however and transfer them that day to the ten frame box. Let them orient to that. I would feed both 1:1 and pollen, maybe 2" of a patty. If they need it, they will take it. If there is any left after a week, remove it. A lot depends on how much stores come with the nuc. It takes a bunch to raise brood and that is what you need to have happen. Between now and winter, 50# of sugar per hive sounds about right. I was feeding three hives and three nucs last year and was buying so many 10# bags I lost count. As far as the formic acid, remember that MAQS is temperature sensitive. Summertime is not the time to use it unless you want to kill your queen and a whole lot of bees. You can use Apivar anytime as long as you are not supering this year. Read the instructions on both before making a choice. With good beekeeping, you will have nice strong hives going into winter.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Follansbee, WV, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    Thanks JW, but too late now. The bees are home. Fortunately, the cheesecloth and sheet kept them contained. They poured out of the cardboard nucs though every crack. I probably still have a few bees hanging out in the jeep. It was nearly full dark when I got them in place just a few minutes ago. No way I can install them now. I hope that's not going to be a problem.
    But now I do have a problem. I didn't buy any pollen patties because earlier advice said they wouldn't need it. Black locust and clover are plentiful right now so maybe it's not too bad. I'll watch them for a day or two and see if they are bringing anything in. I can buy 25# bags of sugar for about $8 so I'll be good to go on that front.
    There is an 80% chance of rain and storms tomorrow. I hate the idea of leaving them in the nucs an extra day, but may have no choice.
    I'll order Apivar tonight. That was actually my original plan in the beginning. I don't plan to super this year.
    I hope the weather cooperates tomorrow. I cant wait to get a better look at them. When I peeked in the vent hole it looked like a heck of a lot of bees in there!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    Smokey
    You won't need the pollen. I hope that you set the bees on top of or in the place you were going to put the hive. It is not a big deal but would help with wayward bees looking for the old place before going to the new. If they are where the hives are going to be, you can transfer them when you want as long as you don't leave them so long the get over populated and decide they want to swarm.

    As jw says, the pollen might give them a small jump start but the sugar will be enough with out it.

    Now the excitement of seeing them grow begins.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,260

    Default Re: The bees are finally coming!

    I figured as much. A health nuc SHOULD look like a heck of a lot of bees. As far as leaving them in the nucs, it won't hurt them as they probably wont fly much tomorrow anyhow. The sooner you get them out of the cardboard though, the better. Check your local hardware stores for beekeeping supplies. The True Value near me has a small selection of stuff including pollen patties. Tractor Supply also has stuff for bees.

    Welcome to beekeeping!
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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