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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
3rd year beekeeper here. I need advice

I did a spring inspection last Sunday. over 70 F. I noticed a lot of SHB and smashed several.
The colony was smaller than two weeks ago when I peeked in. They were in the top medium with lots of pollen and honey in same box.
I'm not sure if it was the smoke or the SHB that forced the abscond, but they are now in a NUC about 20 ft away form the original hive.


They left the honey and pollen in the frames at the old location. I took two heavy frames out and examined them for any signs of EFB or sliming or Wax moths. NO signs. I also place them in the freezer over night. Today they are thawing out. The Swarm NUC had clean drawn comb in it with some lemon grass oil.

My question is:

Should I open the NUC and add the frames of stores now or wait a few days to let them get accustomed to the NUC?
 

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I have only one year of experience, so consider the source. I would let them be for a week or two to le the queen start laying in the new home. From what i have read and heard, the bees are less liekly to pack up and abscond if there is brood present.
 

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Very interesting, I can't give you an answer as to why, but I'm curious, are you sure they have a queen with them? if not did the lemon grass oil make them think a queen was in the nuc. Be interesting to know why. Were there open brood in the brood comb they left?
 

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If you say there were a lot of beetles, that could be good enough reason for them to leave.

If the hive beetles were bad enough to cause the bees to abscond though, the frames should be in such bad shape that you wouldn't want to use them again. They would be a hot mess, and smell terrible (I've heard it likened to rotting oranges). The honey would be fermenting and contaminated, it just really isn't pretty.

If you're having a bad infestation around a hive, your best bet will be to order some nematodes to prevent re-infestation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
StanVick,

No Im not sure that the queen is with them.
No there is no open brood in the comb.
I want to watch and see if they are taking in pollen before I open the NUC and inspect. The honey and pollen in the comb is very clean. No sign of slime or webbing.

Thanks for your input.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Edymnion,

Thanks for your input.

The honey and Pollen in the comb is in good shape.
I'm still not sure why they switched locations...
Im going to give them a day or two before I open the Nuc to add the Stores frames. I froze the 2 frames overnite so I know there are no SHB in the frames.

Larry
 

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There seem to be no absolutes in beekeeping so any suggestions I make are just my opinion and I am never surprised when I am wrong ( always disappointed though ) My take is that like Edymnion pointed out, if the SHB problem was the cause, your frames would be unusable. I think you lost your queen some time ago, that is why the population decreased, the SHB smelled a distressed colony and moved in to lay their eggs, you did right to freeze the frames. You them disturbed them sometime after placing lemon grass oil in a nearby nuc they smelled the oil and since there were no guards preventing it, they entered the nuc. At this time you need to place a frame of capped brood and one of open brood in the nuc to nail them down and to increase the population. Good Luck
 
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