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.
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
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 ??
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.
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)
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.
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.