Upstate NY; nucs
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Cayuga County, New York
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    Default Upstate NY; nucs

    Good morning. I am from Cayuga County, in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. This is my 4th year of keeping bees, and although I have been reading the posts on Beesource for a year or two, I haven't participated much in the past. I don't have a lot of practical experience, but I enjoy reading about beekeeping. Currently I have 4 hives.

    I have decided to try making 2 nucs in July to overwinter. I have several specific questions;

    )1 When is the best time to start to give the plenty of time to build up before winter?

    )2 Can I take one frame of brood and one frame of food from each of my 4 hives, mix and match half of the frames into each nuc, and give them a queen, or will this cause any sort of problems?

    )3 I have read that some people mix fumagilin (Fumadil B?) with the sugar syrup to prevent Nosema. Is this recommended?

    I am open to any input on this. My goal is to become sustainable; next year 6 hives, 2022 8 or 10, or more! Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    here is a good thread to read to start with, Mike Palmer has bees in NY

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...=overwintering

    yes you can mix and match brood, people that leave the nuc in the same yard as the hives do that so bees don't return to the original hive.

    I would skip the fumidil unless you have a problem.

    the thread will tell you when he starts, depends on many things, starting with queen cells, you have to start earlier, with mated queens later, how tall do you want the nucs to be?
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    723

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    I have decided to try making 2 nucs in July to overwinter. I have several specific questions;
    I make nucs up between june 1st and aug 1st.

    1 When is the best time to start to give the plenty of time to build up before winter?
    See above. If you make up after july 15th you should use mated queens. I have used cells all the way up to august 5-8th and made it work. But it can't be done every year. The nuc needs to be made strong the later in the season you make it. Yes you can mix and match frames of brood from multiple hives. I do it all the time. In general to make up a nuc you should use 1 capped brood and one open brood, and a frame of honey. I give mine a patty of pollen sub and 1/2 gallon of feed. Also a few shakes of bees 2-3 frames worth as many will fly back to parent colony. I don't use fumigilin as it causes birth defects in humans. Haven't used it in well over 20+ years. You could pretty easily turn your 4 hives into 10-12 more next year.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Cayuga County, New York
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    5

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    Thanks, wildbranch. That Mike Palmer article is very helpful.

    I'm curious about this
    people that leave the nuc in the same yard as the hives do that so bees don't return to the original hive.

    How does that prevent bees from returning to original hive?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Cayuga County, New York
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    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    You could pretty easily turn your 4 hives into 10-12 more next year.[/QUOTE]

    Could you be a little more specific? Could I do that and still have a few hives that make honey?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    723

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    Could you be a little more specific? Could I do that and still have a few hives that make honey?
    Not usually. The old rule is still the same you can make bees or honey. You can usually pull a nuc from a honey hive and still make honey pretty regularly. Just can't make lots of nucs from a hive it deplete's the resources to much. I usually use this method when wanting to expand. Make nucs from half the apiary and honey with the other half. If you want to maintain current number. you should over winter nucs @ 30%. For example if you keep 50 colonies you want to winter 15 nucs. (50 colonies x 30%= 15.) This should account for winter lose and failed matings. You should in my opinion re-queen at least 50% of your colonies every year. So if you have lets say over winter 50 colonies and lose 8. You replace with 8 of your over winter nucs. But 5 more of your colonies are weak. I first swap position with the strongest hives to equalize them. 2 week later I evaluate. If the queens take off great. If not you then drop in one of those over wintered nucs pinching the old queen. Whatever is truly extra probably 0-5 nucs can then be built up and broken down into nucs in june.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    601

    Default

    Clayton is probably closest to you & his advice is spot-on.

    I prefer flyback-splits if you can find the queen. It keeps the original and splits in the same yard. With that, your 4 can become 8 or more with very minimal effort.

    I just did 2 of those in my home yard. The 1st queenless portion made enough cells and was strong enough to divide into 2 nucs. They should have hatched today.

    The 2nd split queenless portion is my starter/finisher for this round of grafting.

    Everyone has their preferred method. Find what works for you. But, answering your original question it is far from too late.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    5,437

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by smokey-hill-bees View Post
    Thanks, wildbranch. That Mike Palmer article is very helpful.

    I'm curious about this
    people that leave the nuc in the same yard as the hives do that so bees don't return to the original hive.

    How does that prevent bees from returning to original hive?
    well the theory is that with all the confusion with bees from multiple hives, the bees get confused. I don't know, never done it this way, I always make nucs in one yard and drop them in the next yard I'm going to. commercial guys call it trashing the yard when they mix and match, can't guarantee the outcome my self.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    723

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    I've always mixed and matched combs of bees. They don't fight. If you make up nucs and move to new yard. They should be strong as you like them when you move them. If they stay the same yard then you add extra shakes of bees to compensate for those that fly back home. That's also why you feed nucs done this way because they have lost there field force and can't gather properly till the nurse bees become field bees. About 2 weeks. Also if you get a real weak nuc add bees, don't let it hobble along. Working bees to the stronger side gives better results.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Cayuga County, New York
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Upstate NY; nucs

    Thank you for the input. I would like to build up to 12-15 hives eventually, but I want to make a little honey too, so I'll probably take it slow. I appreciate the 30% nuc tip; makes sense to me!

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