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Had a terrifying morning picking up and installing my bees. I assumed that when you bought a nuc it came sealed. Seems reasonable, but boy was I wrong. I noticed some bees were leaking out as I placed the nuc in the back of my minivan, so I went back into the garden store to buy a tarp. By the time I came back my van was filled with about 20 angry (to me anyway) bees. I shooed them out and placed a tarp over them and drove the half hour home in panic as bees buzzed around my son and I's head.

when i got the nuc open, I was a little dissapointed. I could tell that it was just three frames that the store had added two plastic frames to.


On the upside, even the empty frames they added were covered in bees. I never saw a queen or eggs, but I was pretty terrified, and I hadn't figured out how to get a look at the back side of the fram without setting it down and crushing some bees. I did see lots of covered brood and a buttload of uncapped honey, though. I think that is a good sign?



The nuc was heavily combed so I had to scrape it off to get the cover on. I crushed a couple bees. Then I made my big mistake. I decided to pour the bees left in the nuc into the hive. I didn't realize there was a bunch of water just sitting on the bottom of the nuc and it landed right on my girls, pissing them off.



My son, Lou, helped with the smoking and putting in the empty frames. He was chanting, "I'm scared, I'm gonna die." over and over the whole time, but he did it.



I went ahead and bought a super with frames, but I don't know when I should put it in, and I don't know if I should harvest honey from it when I do.

What I am seeing in this pic is the bees letting off pheromones to orient the other bees, right?

 

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Capped brood is a good sign, but but seeing uncapped brood as well would be an even better sign.



Significant burr comb attaching the cover and water in the bottom of the nuc suggests the vendor may not have opened/checked on the nuc before delivery. :eek: Kinda make me wonder how they would know there is still a laying queen in there.
 

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Yes, that's what the bees in your photo of them at the entrance are doing, fanning nasonov to round up any stragglers and point them the way home. Once they settle in and build more new comb, some of the new comb should then be filled with eggs by their queen, if they do have one. Soon, you are going to want to see the queen, or evidence of her presence. Otherwise they will need to be assisted in becoming queenright, as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah. I would have to say I was a little disappointed. It is entirely possible there are eggs in there that I just missed, though. I would think they could may they're own queen though, right? Oh god now I am all worried.
 

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Yeah. I would have to say I was a little disappointed. It is entirely possible there are eggs in there that I just missed, though. I would think they could may they're own queen though, right? Oh god now I am all worried.
Good morning:
Congratulations on your install. You will become more relaxed with time around your bees. An old bee keeper once told me that if you are afraid your bees can sense it. It's nice to see you involved your son to the wonder of bee keeping. Good luck.
Colino
 

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Don't panic, but if they don't have eggs or very young worker larva, they will need intervention to become queenright again. Without the resources to raise a replacement queen, they cannot do it. So, ensuring they are queenright (by introducing a replacement queen), or ensuring they have the means to raise a replacement queen, is one of the most important things to do when installing a new colony. But there is usually time to accomplish this, it isn't often that the situation is urgent, but it should be corrected as soon as possible - before complications develop.
 

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Next time you do an inspection, look for larva, because eggs are likely to be difficult to see when you aren't familiar with what to look for.

See this photo to see larva ...

In the cell at the end of the larva arrow (and the cell to the right) you can see the curled up larva. That is what eggs grow into 3.5 to 4 days after they are laid (larva size does increase with age)

Photo above linked from the 'Brood' definition in the Beesource Glossary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, two undrawn frames. Nice, huh?
The bees were really calm, not anything like i have read queenless hives to be. Ill check again in a few days for larvae.
 

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That was a jester nuc box. They have hollow tubes that fill with rain water and that is probably what poured onto your hive [I've had that happen a few times]. It didn't hurt the bees but it does tend to excite them. Don't over smoke the hive, tends to p*** them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Elrods garden center in Georgia. I don't want to point too big a finger at them since I'm so new, but it came with three covered wood frames and two undrawn plastic frames which are what they sell at the store.

It was two hundred dollars for the nuc plus a complete hive deep body with a,migratory lid and frames, plus an entrance feeder.

Is that a fair deal for three covered frames? Or maybe i got a dud.
 

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If you look at that $200 as $150 for the nuc, plus $12 body + $20 frames/foundation + $10 lid + $8 feeder, I'd say that is not an unreasonable price. Certainly there are sellers that charge more than that.

A concern though, is that no one seems to have recently looked inside the $150 nuc before delivery, and a $150 nuc with just 3 frames of comb + 2 of foundation is somewhat skimpy. If that is their standard practice, I'd look for someone more customer service oriented for my next bee purchase.
 

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Add a bottom board, assume it was all assembled and painted and it is very reasonable. Don't know why you think no one looked inside recently? Just because there were undrawn frames doesn't mean that no one looked to see if the queen was mated well and laying. As I stated above, it's doubtful there was water on the bottom, particularly because Jester nucs are not water tight on the bottom. That water came from the hollow tubes in the sides - I have that all the time with nucs I make using the Jester boxes.
 

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Congratulations, you made it! :) Next time, inspect a nuc before you purchase and bring it home. Takes the worry out of it. (And if the seller discourages or doesn't allow inspections, go somewhere else.) Put the sun at your back and over your shoulder when you go in on your next inspection. It "shines a light" on what you're seeing and you can see the eggs, larvae and everything else in the cells.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Add a bottom board, assume it was all assembled and painted and it is very reasonable. Don't know why you think no one looked inside recently? Just because there were undrawn frames doesn't mean that no one looked to see if the queen was mated well and laying. As I stated above, it's doubtful there was water on the bottom, particularly because Jester nucs are not water tight on the bottom. That water came from the hollow tubes in the sides - I have that all the time with nucs I make using the Jester boxes.
Another poster said that they didn't think anyone looked in the hive, not me. Personally, since the lid came up rather easily despite all the comb, I think it was lifted recently to add in the two unmatching plastic frames, but who knows?

I tend to believe there is a queen in there , though. the bees seem pretty content, and I just saw one bring some pollen in. they are ignoring the syrup, though. That may just be because the tulip poplars all over my property are blooming. I think I read that the bees are restless and irritable when they are queenless, but these guys seem happy to me.

And yes, it did come with a bottom board. I added the beetle baffle myself.
 

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From glancing @ Dadants catalog..
EZ frames- plastic preassembled a.k.a. "pierco"- $2.70x10=$27.00
Assembled bottom board- $20
Migratory cover - $10
Hive body- $20
$77 total, meh, plus paint and time.
Prepainted deep assembled w/ 10 frames- $58, and you still need top n bottom board.

With nuc $200 isnt bad at all.

Radars numbers are similar to what I generally figure off top of my pea brain when asked and no catalog nearby. Most beeks learn real quick with our addiction/hobby, to buy in enough bulk to get price breaks. Combining our orders with fellow club members help also.

Minus the 2 empty nuc frames, assuming there is a queen, not a bad deal. Keep the nuc with extra frames in case of swarms. Bonus!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It wasn't painted or assembled, actually. But I wanted to learn to do that myself. Plus, the kids had fun painting murals on it....

 

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:) and just bought a gallon of mistint pink paint for the supers I bought yesterday.

Now we can both sing-a-long with John Cougar Mellancamp!!!
 
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