Spring nucs
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Thread: Spring nucs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    231

    Default Spring nucs

    So I've got a baby due in early May, which is going to pretty much put the kaibosh on my ability to intensively work hives this year. Im hoping to nuc my hives down pretty hard as early as possible and place purchased Queens In them so I can get them gone quick. I normally breed my Queens, bit I just don't see how I can pull that off this year.

    What signs do you all look for that let you know that it's ok to start breaking hives up to make nucs? I don't want to do it too early and have a bunch of old tired winter bees who won't be able to survive. Too late and I won't have the time to actually deal with them. Im in zone 5b and generally start to see maple pollen show up around March 5th.

    Im fine with no honey this year, in fact I would prefer it.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    873

    Default Re: Spring nucs

    IMHO if you start seeing drone brood being raised, start to get ready to split. When those drones emerge, it is time to split. If you see the bees making swarm cells with royal jelly in them, SPLIT IMMEDIATELY.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Spring nucs

    Good luck on your plan. I would plan on buying some queens. And doing your splits. To start with and then spilt as often

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Spring nucs

    >What signs do you all look for that let you know that it's ok to start breaking hives up to make nucs?

    I would want to see drones flying.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,462

    Default Re: Spring nucs

    Maybe consider walk away spilts. You will control getting too many hives and save buying queens.

    Pull the existing queen and few frames of brood to a NUC or full super(follower boards would be advantageous).

    There needs to be sexually mature drones to mate with new queens. Drones need to about 4 weeks after emergence and queens will be ready to mate about 20 days from the split.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Wayne, WV, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Spring nucs

    Nhaupt2, what is your goal? Are you selling all the bees? Wanting to control swarming as much as possible but not harvest honey?

    I always see the first swarm cells one month after maple bloom. Like clockwork.
    "The amazing thing about the honey bee is not that she works, but that she works for others." St. John Chrysostom

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Im definitly trying to sell them. I have 10 production hives and 10 nucs right now. I would idealy like to get that down to 10 hives total. My plan right now is to order 20 Queens for late April and break down those 15 hives into as many strong nucs as I can and selling them off. I sold ten last year, so hopefully with some prep work I can sell 20+ this year without too many difficulties.

    I just hope I have enough brood in the hives by April to do it.

    If I ended the process with 10 weakish singles that I could have draw comb all year for me I would be happy.

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