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Been keeping bees for a long time, so I should have known better. This is my second year making nucs to overwinter. Last year worked great, so this year I had a really good nuc going, in between two strong hives. They had been this way for a month with no issues whatsoever. A few days ago I went by a fed the nuc using a frame feeder, spilling just a few drops mind you, no major spills. Yesterday I went to the yard, opened the nuc, and it looked like the aftermath of a major battle. Every frame was completely empty with an inch deep of chewed cappings on the hive bottom. There were about 30 bees left in the nuc and no sign of the queen. I will never do that again! Let my experience be a lesson, be careful feeding a weak hive during a dearth, especially in the vicinity of strong hives.
 

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I had the same happen a couple of weeks after lacing a new Queen in the nuc. Fed the nuc and the party was crashed. All frames and internal feeder dry as a bone!
 

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Funny you should bring this up, because I just came here to start a thread on the subject.

It must be really tough to start a nuc in a dearth, is all I have to say.

I installed a new Russian queen in a nuc three days ago. I have a feeling there was already robbing going on in my apiary at the time, tho I didn't realize it then. It didn't take long to figure out that all those bees coming and going from this nuc were not because it was doing so well, but because it was being robbed. I put syrup in this hive, but I also put it in the other hives so that none would be tempted to rob each other. That does not work in a dearth.

This morning first thing, after thinking about it in the middle of the night, I put screens on the 2 shims I was using as a top and bottom small entrance. The queen was still in the queen cage, they hadn't eaten all the way thru the candy yet. I put more syrup in the top feeder and a pollen patty, closed them up, and no one is going anywhere for two days. There were bees on the screens today but they couldn't get in. The robbers trapped inside will now be card carrying members of this hive.

Trying to attempt nucs at this stage of the season is like an episode of Dearth Invaders.

I reduced entrances on all my hives, took out syrup because I noticed all of a sudden this morning bees piling in with bright yellow/orange pollen pockets. That can only mean goldenrod is finally available. None too soon.

After 2 days of being trapped inside this hive, I will check to make sure the queen is out, and let them out for a potty break.

I'm not sure how long you can keep them screened in, and whether I should give them a break to get out and then screen them back up again. Any thoughts? I know if there's a good goldenrod flow, there shouldn't be a problem with robbing.
 

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Will the robbers that are shut in fight with the nuc bees? When my nuc was invaded it also looked like "normal" activity on the porch with bees casually going in and but on the inside their was literally a pile of dead bees.
 

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I just went through this as well. Anticipated it after my second nuc was made and restricted the entrance to one bee after a day of being closed. So far so good.
 

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Will the robbers that are shut in fight with the nuc bees? When my nuc was invaded it also looked like "normal" activity on the porch with bees casually going in and but on the inside their was literally a pile of dead bees.
Well, I was just reading around on the internet last night -- actually I think it was Michael Bush's website that came up on google -- that led me to believe the robbers will join the "good guys" if they are all locked up together. So I hope that's the case.
 

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best thing to do for nucs is to give them capped frames from another hive. Later in the season when its cooler, sept/oct you can get by feeding but not in the middle of summer as it usually incites robbing.
 

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I think my robbing had already started even before syrup feeding. I had a queenless laying worker hive waiting to be shaken out, and when I did that yesterday, I saw they had zero honey in their frames and headless bees on the bottom board.

Last summer I had a very large buckwheat patch that kept my 2 hives in nectar through the dearth. This summer the buckwheat was a bust and I have more hives. I don't think they had any nectar sources the past 2-3 weeks.
 

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Hi all,

I started 2 NUCs around beginning of July with a mated queens. I run all 8 frame mediums, so my NUCs are in 8 frame mediums using 3 frames of bees in the center. I placed them on top of my largest hives separated by a Double Screened Board. They had an opening about 1" wide where the inner cover would have been on the parent hive to use as an exit.

The thought (hope), was that the larger hives would adopt these NUCs where they would get benefit of heat and co-mingled smells and maybe protection of being on top the larger hive.

So far, so good! Both parent hive and NUCs are growing out well, but separate. Out of curiosity on my last inspection, I placed the NUC box on top of a honey super with only a screen between them so the bees from the 2 hives could interact. They were interested in each other, and their tongues were sticking through, but it did not appear aggressive.

Curious if anybody else has tried that when working late season NUCs?
 

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I moved my nucs a few miles away and am also feeding them. The reason I moved them is to try and protect them from my larger hives. I hope it works, I haven't gotten to check them this week.
 

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I moved my nucs a few miles away and am also feeding them. The reason I moved them is to try and protect them from my larger hives. I hope it works, I haven't gotten to check them this week.
I will be doing the same thing in Spring. I noticed that my two attempts to split this year were met by intense robbing. I will move AND have robber screens in place before I even open it back up after the move.
 

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I keep all my nuc's entrances small at all times and so far this year I have no robbing going on.

and I am feeding 12 right now and there all in with my DBL. deeps. or bigger.

I have another yard 50 yards away with more nuc's and DBL. deeps[no new pics] and thing are moving along nicely all the nucs are building comb and making winter bee's.
 
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