Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Norwood,Ontario Canada
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    19

    Default Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    A million questions here but I'll start with this one or two.... I made 2 Michael Palmer style nucs early last season. They grew like crazy and by winter I had 2 sets of 4 frame boxes and 3 sets of 4 frame boxes over the divided deeps for a total of 4 nuc colonies. They are very active (when weather permits), spilling out of the top entrances. How soon should/could I transfer them into full size hives and how to go about it without losing or totally messing things up ?

    Second question, yesterday I lifted my other hives off of their bottom boards to clean them. I found more than 1/2 of them were very light. I have been feeding sugar cakes since late Feb., a few have no cakes left & others are almost gone. Because they are so light do I add more cakes or start syrup ? They are just starting to bring in pollen (first I've seen this year was yesterday).

    Any help is appreciated as I'm still struggling to get my bearings here.

    Steve

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,227

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    Syrup

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,491

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    Its still going to be cold for awhile for us northerners, so you might consider feeding the syrup in a zip lock baggie with big pinholes punched into the bag and put right on the top bars.
    Since Michael Palmer didn't answer your other question, I shouldn't touch it but here goes: If you can wait for warmer nights, I would. If you have boxes and frames that would give them more space and they really need it, I would. If I needed to transfer the frames to deeps, I would consider adding a follower board or boards. If you have other hives and the nucs are booming and are running out of space, you could transfer a brood frame to the other hives and turn the nucs into brood factories until it got warmer. J

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Norwood,Ontario Canada
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    19

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    I haven't "dug" into them yet, as you said we will still be having some cold nights. I will wait until the nights are consistently "warmer".
    I was thinking that when I do make the move to put them into 10 frame boxes I would orient the entrances in the same direction as the parent colony (nuc),tight together and hopefully the flying bees will adjust to the new look and go in as normal. Does that sound reasonable ?
    When I peeked in a couple of the colonies yesterday I saw no sign of brood, so not sure how they might be progressing yet. Does the fact I saw pollen being brought in mean there is definitely brood ??

    Steve

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    As Michael said, syrup. Once you start keep feeding until dandelions bloom. Seeing pollen coming in almost certainly means there is some brood. Put in full size hives when it warms up some. No hurry.
    Lloyd Spear

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Norwood,Ontario Canada
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    19

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    Thanks for the support.

    Steve

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,482

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    I was into one colony yesterday and there were eggs so just starting to lay. You should be about 2 -3 weeks ahead of me though. Once you can get into them more you may find that the stacked nucs have a fairly empty bottom box that you could swap the frames up higher. Do you have any additional 4 frame boxes?

    The bees should have no trouble if you put the two ten frame setups close together in the same spot as the stacked twins. Putt the holes in the entrance at about the same spacing as the others were. After a few days you can start inching them apart to where you want them for your convenience.
    Frank

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    1,007

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    i have 18 of these MP style nucs which overwintered. Im shocked at how frugal they are with their stores. Some of these little hives still have 5-6 frames of capped honey in there!
    Keep in mind they are only 16 frames total! ( i have them 4/4/4/4)

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,227

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    I harvest the top box when the bees have filled it with honey, and winter in 3 boxes. If they're light, feed accordingly.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Norwood,Ontario Canada
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    19

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    I supered mine because I made them quite early. I was very surprised how they filled them and I did harvest the honey. I left what they had & are now "booming", so I definitely love this system.....

    A great big "Shout Out" goes to Michael Palmer for resurrecting this & bringing back into the light !!

    Steve

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    as for the other question, Move them into 8 frame or 10 frame gear, in the exact orientation as they are now, Add frames to the sides, center the 5 NUC frames of bees in the middle of the hive. Add a comb on one side or both if you have it, Not likely they build comb yet. Be sure they need to be moved, IE they are packed, You still have some cold coming. Could add another box on top buy a 2-3 week time extension then do it when it is warmer. You will need to locate them very close to as is to prevent drift. IE keep the nest as is with room to the sides.

    Good luck
    GG

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    2,037

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    I just transferred the side by side nucs into deeps on Tuesday I think. I had added some supers to some of the other hives that were large enough last week. And quite a few were light, baggie feeders for me in a shim.
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    1,007

    Default Re: Overwintered Nucs (M.P. style)

    Ill be transferring the MP nucs into 10 F boxes on Sunday when its a little warmer here. I will add a second deep box above with:

    FFHEEEEHFF frame arrangements. I have plenty of built comb to put above them.

    F:foundation
    E:empty built comb
    H: honey/pollen combs

    Did this last year and they all produced very well in terms of honey production and took a split off all of them also after i grafted queens.

    MP method works plain and simple.

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