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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm brand new to beekeeping. I pick up a 5 frame nuc mid-April. I'm nervous because I don't want to do something wrong to hurt the bees. We are moving to our new acreages in June. I'm still picking up the bees this April even though I will not be there full time. I plan on setting the bees up , staying for 4 days, leaving and then returning every two weeks until I move early June. I have some basic questions: 1) I plan on filling the quart jar feeder when I leave in 4 days. So do I need to do something else? 2) Do I leave the bees with the bottom board in place or only the screen on bottom? 3) The nuc has 5 frames that will replace 5 frames in my langstroth box. This leaves 5 free frames. Will this be enough frames for the two weeks I'm gone? I've read so much and still have these basic questions. Can anyone help?
 

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I would feed them really thin syrup (about half a gallon) so they draw out the frames. It will take them a couple days to draw out the frames and then the queen will start laying in about 3-4 days. I wouldn't worry as 2 weeks isn't much for the new brood to hatch. She will definitely fill the frames with eggs. Then again your climate is much different from mine so I don't know the main flow timing.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

As your new bees are arriving in a nuc that already has some drawn comb, feeding is less critical than in a package that has no comb at all.

But if you are concerned about the quart jar not being enough while you are away, larger jars/buckets can be used above a hole in an inner cover. You can put an empty hive body over the bucket to protect it from the sun and put a top cover on that.
 

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My Area is kind of like yours, and I sell nucs all the time, so I have dealt with lots of people that have asked these questions. The bees will have a frame or two with honey, so the feeding for food is not that big of a problem. You will basically be feeding to help them make comb faster so they don't have to use their honey up. I would set it up so that the jar is on top of the inner cover, with a box around it, and the outer cover over that. It will protect the jar from the more extreme temperatures that will expand the air in the jar during the day and "squirt" the syrup into the hive.
The one thing I would make sure of, is that there is a good water source. I suggest a towel on a slow dripping faucet/hose, preferably in the sun so it can be warm. To get them to come to it, I would drop a couple drops of Lemon Grass oil (from Whole Foods or something).
You don't have really cold at night, so I would just use the screen without the insert. That way any mites will fall through.
Yes, the 5 frames that you will be getting will replace 5 frames that you already have in your hive. The other 5 will be plenty for them to work on. Later, when they get to 3-4 boxes high and have tons of bees, they might be able to draw out a box of frames and fill it in a couple weeks with a strong flow, but with only 5 frames of bees, they don't have the manpower to really fill it very fast.
And every two weeks is about all you should get into the hive anyways, so two weeks between visits should not be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have another question. When I set the bees up, how long would you keep the entrance reducer in place?
 

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For a new package, even on drawn comb with some stores, I would say to feed until they filled out about 70% of the bottom deep. When you'd be ready to put another deep or start putting supers on, thats when I'd stop feeding.

I'd also keep the reducer in place for about the same length of time.

A (mostly) full deep should be well established enough to take care of itself, so getting it to that point quickly will go a long way.
 

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I feed about 2 quarts a week when I'm feeding. So I'd either look at a 1 gallon quail feeder or setting up 4 quarts internally. You can set them up as previously stated = on the inner cover with a box around them. I find quail feeders or boardman feeders work fine and lessen the chance of leaking directly into the brood nest. The strong Spring Nectar flow in the Hill Country is when Indian Blanket Flower bloomis which comes when Blue Bonnets are fading.
 
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