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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This my first time with Nucs. It sounded so feasible...split off frames frames from booming hives..preferably from 3 different sources and then give them a mated Queen or make certain they have eggs and let them make their own.

I made up 5 frame deep Nucs...3 frames and 2 foundation, entrance reduced to 1 bee space and if didn't have a circular entrance portal a "w" shaped wire robber screen.

Still these Nucs were robbed out in no time flat! No honey left, no Queen left and very few bees.

I am trying again ...not many...just to see if I can get them going. Is it senseless trying to get Nucs going in a dearth? I don't think we get much, if any, fall flow so at some point I will have feed. I use internal hive top feeders.

Are there tricks to making up and growing on mid summer Nucs?
 

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Janne - Been making them up in my yard for a while during the dearth. However, the larger hives are at the far end of the field while the NUC's are up closer to my home. I don't know that that has anything at all to do with it, but other then that, I fed them the first night to make sure they were well stored for a while and put entrance reducers in to allow only a couple bees in the entrance at a time. The other thing that I did was to make sure most of the bees going into the NUC's were younger nurse bees. The frames I took from the big hives where heavy with new brood and younger bees. I would suggest making your nuc's while it is nice and sunny outside when there is plenty of the foragers out of the hive. That way you are packing very few if any to the NUC and they aren't going back to the main hive and telling on you. lol.. I use hive top/no drown feeders and only feed about 4 cups in the really late evening just before dark. By morning they have their food all sucked down into the hives. So far for me it has worked without a problem at all.. I run russian and itallian stock both here.
 

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I started 2 nucs from cut outs just as we started into the dreath and they are about 150 feet from the other hives. Didn't get robbed, maybe keeping them away from the others helps. Maybe I was lucky. But one is exploding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the made up Nucs, a swarm hive and 3 started this year from pages specially separate from the established hive....not a huge distance but definitely specially separate. Perhaps I should consider setting up a small nuc yard on the far side of the barn but that is a lot farther from the house. As well family members will likely object to bees " taking over" everything:)
 

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My NUC's are about 200ft away from the production hives. It has to do with cutting down the entrance and feeding times. If you are using EO at all that will draw them in. Make sure to use top feeders with only enough feed for them to pull down overnight. I use EO in my feed when I do feed and if I feed to early I know almost immediately due to the bees flying around the bucket of syrup. I just take it back in and wait a while longer. Also make sure your NUC's are strong when you make them. I use 5 frame NUC's and never put less then 3 frames of bees and emerging brood into them.
 

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I started two earlier this summer, just as the dearth started. Both had purchased queens in them. Same size, same location, away from the main hives. I stuck robbing screens on. One got robbed out anyway, the other is booming so much I took a couple frames of bees and eggs from it today and made a third. Fed exactly the same. No rhyme or reason to me.
 

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I had a couple robbed out this year. In prior years I always made them on a flow, this year the blackberries didn't produce, and the nucs became robbing targets. I wasn't really careful about getting nurse bees and not foragers, the flying bees probably went home and told the rest where to find capped honey.

Next year I'll do it differently. Shake all the bees off frames of brood, then put them above an excluder overnight. Next day they should have the correct number of nurse bees and put them into the nucs if I grab them early before it warms up. 3 or frames with bees and shake the bees from another frame to two.

We seem to be having a good goldenrod flow here at our new place, I may experiment with later starts next year too.
 

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I find that I have good luck limiting the entrance for the nucs. I use 1/8 hardware cloth that's folded into a V with the point going into the hive. A smaller entrance will allow a smaller/weaker hive to protect itself.

I'll unfold and shorten the length (by folding the screen onto itself to the appropriate length) as the nuc gets stronger. I'll start with a 1/2" or 1" opening and will get wider as congestion increases. That said, I also keep full hives down to about 4" wide (based on suggestions from other Beesource folks).

The hardware cloth (stainless steel screen) allows ventilation but prevents bees and other bugs from getting in. Saw a moth try to sneak in at the far side (away from the opening) and the moth was thwarted by the screen before it was jumped on by guard bees.

Good luck.

Tony P.
 

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You do not want wimpy nurse bees. You want nasty old Clint Eastwood bees. Move the main hive and leave the nuc or single it it's place. One frame of brood and nurse bees will get you several queencells if you want to do it that way. Gets you 10 days down the road without robbing before splitting further. You can split that one vertically with excluder and separate entrances. No feeding required with anything at all coming in.
Not many nucs, but alive.
 

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You do not want wimpy nurse bees. You want nasty old Clint Eastwood bees. Move the main hive and leave the nuc or single it it's place. One frame of brood and nurse bees will get you several queencells if you want to do it that way. Gets you 10 days down the road without robbing before splitting further. You can split that one vertically with excluder and separate entrances. No feeding required with anything at all coming in.
Not many nucs, but alive.
Nasty ole Clint Eastwood Bees, thats funny. Are You Feeling Lucky Punk? Are You.
 
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