Back yard BEEK,managing NUCS to maximize options
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Back yard BEEK,managing NUCS to maximize options

    I have three colonies.
    I consider myself a first year BEEK.
    I want to give myself options.
    I want to overwinter a NUC or two this Winter.
    At this point I don’t need more bees.
    I don’t want more honey.
    I was told it’s my job this year to NOT kill the bees.
    I prefer to let them make their own queen rather the purchase queens.
    If I’m successful and have two egg laying Nucs how best to manage them.
    Am I correct in thinking I need to keep the NUCS weak?
    Is that a process of taking brood frames and replacing with foundation or empty comb?
    I use medium equipment. I just made two five frame NUC boxes with an additional box to house feeders.
    Any guidance is appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Back yard BEEK,managing NUCS to maximize options

    I think if you are going to overwinter 5 frame medium nucs they will need to be 3 deep. I overwinter in 5 over 5 deep nucs and they do great.

    You are also coming to the end of allowing them to make a queen AND draw out foundation. I haven't been able to get them to draw much of anything after July. If you make the split this coming weekend, you aren't going to see larvae until close to August. I suppose you could feed/feed/feed them to get them to draw. I just haven't been very successful with making that happen.

    I don't have many years in, but I've come to understand the shortage is always drawn comb for any plans I have.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,421

    Default Re: Back yard BEEK,managing NUCS to maximize options

    Hard to get a summer nuc to draw comb, even with heavy feeding. Bees won't even think about new comb until they have a mated queen and a steady source of "nectar" coming in. If you still have a flow going on, rotate frames out now and store them while the bees draw some new ones for you. Then you will have something to put in these nucs. Frames inserted into the brood nest are the most likely to get drawn out. Frames added to a super or the outside positions in the hive, not so much. I am putting feeders on my non production hives already to try to get some more comb drawn for splits I have planned.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Steve, so you stack 5 NUCs for the purpose of heat retention? How do you feed?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    JWPalmer
    I’m definitely learning the value of drawn comb. I’m beginning to grasp the timing issue with Winter on the horizon. I can see how purchasing a queen could be the difference between surviving the Winter and not surviving.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Back yard BEEK,managing NUCS to maximize options

    It's just 2 5 frame boxes stacked, not individual nucs. I slide them together in winter for heat retention and give them a sugar brick. The good ones barely touch the brick. If I find a picture I will post it.

    Beemandan uses the same setup for swarm traps if you watch his videos.

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