nuc abscond question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default nuc abscond question

    I made up a nuc about 2 months ago, checked on the queen shortly after making the nuc and everything was ok. Walked by the nuc yesterday late in the afternoon and saw that there were not many bees coming out so I popped the top and saw several bees on the top of the frame and since it was in the upper 90's I closed the box up. Today when I walked outside I found a swarm in a tree. I got it boxed up and took care of, I then went to check the nuc that did not have many bees yesterday. When I opened the box there was not 200 bees in it, There was emerging brood and open nectar in the frames but no young larva of any age. Also there was no swarm cells present in the box. And I only found 1 hive beetle in the box. The bees have been treated with oav 3 times in July and 3 times in Aug so mites should not have been the problem. Even tho there was not a swarm cell present My guess is that they lost the queen and this swarm was from the mating flight of a new queen. But does a whole hive go out on a mating flight like this.
    Anyone have anymore gusses.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    I made up a nuc about 2 months ago, checked on the queen shortly after making the nuc and everything was ok. Walked by the nuc yesterday late in the afternoon and saw that there were not many bees coming out so I popped the top and saw several bees on the top of the frame and since it was in the upper 90's I closed the box up. Today when I walked outside I found a swarm in a tree. I got it boxed up and took care of, I then went to check the nuc that did not have many bees yesterday. When I opened the box there was not 200 bees in it, There was emerging brood and open nectar in the frames but no young larva of any age. Also there was no swarm cells present in the box. And I only found 1 hive beetle in the box. The bees have been treated with oav 3 times in July and 3 times in Aug so mites should not have been the problem. Even tho there was not a swarm cell present My guess is that they lost the queen and this swarm was from the mating flight of a new queen. But does a whole hive go out on a mating flight like this.
    Anyone have anymore gusses.
    This is exactly what mine did, had OAV'd them 4 times, better cage the queen for a week, mine just took off again after reboxing.
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,103

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    I’v had nucs abscond and the have no swarm cell...hence abscond. The have brood in all stages, but not enough bees to cover the brood. Only bees are newly emerged bees and field bees who returned after the abscond left. One thing...after a few days you’ll find emergency cells, created after the abscond left. Heat will do this. Colony can’t cool their small cavity, and leave. Adding another story is necessary

    So to me, that’s how to ID an abscond from a swarm.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    I made up a nuc about 2 months ago, checked on the queen shortly after making the nuc and everything was ok. Walked by the nuc yesterday late in the afternoon and saw that there were not many bees coming out so I popped the top and saw several bees on the top of the frame and since it was in the upper 90's I closed the box up. Today when I walked outside I found a swarm in a tree. I got it boxed up and took care of, I then went to check the nuc that did not have many bees yesterday. When I opened the box there was not 200 bees in it, There was emerging brood and open nectar in the frames but no young larva of any age. Also there was no swarm cells present in the box. And I only found 1 hive beetle in the box. The bees have been treated with oav 3 times in July and 3 times in Aug so mites should not have been the problem. Even tho there was not a swarm cell present My guess is that they lost the queen and this swarm was from the mating flight of a new queen. But does a whole hive go out on a mating flight like this.
    Anyone have anymore gusses.
    Arkansas is an extremely warm climate.

    That forcast made me cringe.

    What's the weather like in the summer?

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    Our weather is calling for over 100 several days this week. So these girls will be going in the shade. I put a frame of open larva in the new box with them so they should stay. Thanks for the replys

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    468

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    I lost 3 nucs the same way this summer. We had a week up sunny 90+ and when I went to retrieve them, 3 of the 4 nucs I created were gone. I chalked it up to heat and next time will pay more attention to not put them in direct sun if it is going to be very warm.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Sioux City, IA,USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    I have never had it as bad as this year out of 20 nucs 6 absconded. They were mostly started from swarm cells. I had an unusual amount of swarms this summer. I caught 3 of them, entered the hive they came out of and salvaged swarm cells for nucs. They were doing great in 5x5 nuc boxes thought I better check. All gone ??? In some it just appeared like they said nope we are not drawing out that top box bye.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,103

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    Quote Originally Posted by redmcc View Post
    All gone ??? In some it just appeared like they said nope we are not drawing out that top box bye.
    Did you add a box of foundation on top of a single story nuc? That often fails. Overhead foundation isn't always seen as expansion space. Next time, move a frame of brood up with the foundation.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Sioux City, IA,USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: nuc abscond question

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Did you add a box of foundation on top of a single story nuc? That often fails. Overhead foundation isn't always seen as expansion space. Next time, move a frame of brood up with the foundation.
    Thanks Michael I usually move a frame of honey up but I will be sure to put brood up.

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