Too late for making nucs in VA?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lexington, VA
    Posts
    26

    Default Too late for making nucs in VA?

    Summer's flown by, and I was originally planning on making nucs from weaker colonies and grafted queens a few weeks ago. Palmer's 'wintering nucs' thread on this forum indicates he shoots for mid-late July up in Vermont. Am I too late to try to get some 4 over 4 nucs here in south/central VA? I'm ok with feeding these colonies. If I start them this weekend (cloake method) and use grafted eggs from my ass-kicking colony, I'm not looking at eggs in the nucs til the end of Sept.

    Thx
    PP

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: Too late for making nucs in VA?

    how is your drone population? can't get a virgin queen fertilized without a bunch of drones. I'm down in Florida and have stopped making nucs or splits for the year but I don't graft queen cells which would be quicker.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    401

    Default Re: Too late for making nucs in VA?

    On the plus side, given the good soil moisture, I hope for a good fall flow.
    If your objective is more overwintered nucs, perhaps you can buy some mated queens,make the nucs strong, and feed as needed.
    I would not try raising queens this late unless you can afford failed mating and do some speedy recombining.
    I'd also make sure mite levels are currently very low -- nucs that start with a high mite count won't have the bees they need to winter.
    8 years, 8 hives

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,025

    Default Re: Too late for making nucs in VA?

    I had two queenless hives and introduced a frame of eggs to them this past Sat. I figure it is 50/50. I still have quite a few drones in the hives but that could easily change quickly. Best plan is to use a purchased mated queen and feed heavily. Our bee club recommends summer splits after the first of August be made with mated queens. After September 1st, the likelyhood of a split making it through winter is not very good.

    On the other hand, one of my metees had a strong hive swarm about an hour ago. He got the queen and is trying to get them into a hive body. It has been a good summer for the bees but a crappy spring.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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