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How long after you install a nuc should you remove a reducer? Installed mine May 3rd and the populations seems to be healthy.
 

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Hi. For hive defense/robbing prevention, it isn’t as much of a timeline as it is hive strength. With a month old nuc, keep the entrance small. It shouldn’t hinder a nuc to keep it reduced, on the other hand, it can easily save them from disaster. You can easily grow a nuc into a full grown hive through an entrance reducer. If you have one of the typical reducers with the very small opening (about 1”) that will rotate to a medium opening (about 2 or 3 inches), and the bees are having to take a number to go though the small opening, you can go ahead and change to the medium opening.
Just remember, there are a LOT of successful feral colonies out there, and most of them have a pretty small entrance.

Ryan
 

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hmm, good to know. I took the reducer off when i was trying to attract a swarm in my hive, i guess i need to put it back now that they are in there. Might explain why they are clustering near the entrance in the evenings as well.
 

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If you are using the equipment as a swarm trap, bees typically like to see and entrance that is about 2 square inches or something like that, any larger and they don't like it very much as it is hard to defend. But I know people who keep the entrance reducer on all year on their production colonies.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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I put BeeSmart robbing screens on every hive (no matter how strong) and leave them on until late fall when mouseguards go on. Nucs are especially vulnerable so I wouldn't be in a rush. You could also fashion a robbing screen with #8 hardware cloth. Gives you ventilation but choices about reducing when needed.
 

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I generally leave the entrance reducers on year round. This seems to really help with robbing. I used to change to the larger openings, but I don’t worry about that anymore.
 

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I pull mine when there starts to be a traffic jam bigger than the entrance and I know there is a good flow going on. I am not sure a first year hive will get past the bigger opening on the entrance reducer most years before you need to be concerned about robbing.
 
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