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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to make a 5 frame nuc with a purchased queen. I have two hives that are doing well and don't want to impact them too much by removing too many frames. So I was thinking of taking two from each. But am I causing a fighting situation by mixing bees from two different hives? I would put a empty frame between them. Will this work?
 

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It won't cause fighting because the older bees will skedaddle back to the old hive leaving only nurse and housebees in the nuc. Give the new split plenty of capped brood and shake some more bees in it if it looks light. We try to give them at least 2 good frames of capped brood, a frame of honey, a frame of pollen with maybe some brood, and an empty drawn frame. Plenty of bees! You can add more bees later by shaking them if needed. They usually build fast with a mated queen, cells take a couple weeks to get going. Keep an eye on them and move them into a new box when they get crowded.
 

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Fish Stix would be absolutely correct, on all counts... If anything, you will likely gain acceptance of the queen faster with mixed brood, because all of the bees in the hive are not loyal to one queen. You mix hive scents when you do this, creating some confusion, but at the same time masking the new queen's scent. By the time everyone in the hive get's to smelling the same, the new queen is one of the gals.

We do it all the time; it creates no problems. And, it's much easier on the parent colonies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well this morning I pulled the frames from the other two hives and put them into a 5 frame nuc I made out of plywood. Its painted white. This afternoon all the bees were outside the entance. Must bee too hot inside for them. Its about 95 and in full sun. I'm wondering if the capped brood inside is cooked? Because all the forager bees have returned to their other hive there is no bees collecting water to cool the hive. Is this hive in trouble? I can't move it with all the bees outside.
 

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They'll be OK! You might consider propping the lid up about 3/8" or so to give them more ventilation. We make these up in 100 degree heat and 90-100% humidity here in FL. Bearding is normal. With your mated queen keep a close eye on them for crowding; doesn't take long for this type of nuc to build up to swarm conditions.
 

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You might also move one of the parent colonies before the sun goes down, and set your nuc in it's place. Turn the parent colony around backwards, or move it over 10 - 12 feet so that some of the bees drift back into your nuc.

Parent colony will adjust in a day or so and the bees will stay with it thereafter, but at this point, the main thing is to get some bees back in your nuc.

Brood will OK, as long as it doesn't chill. It can stand far heat than it can cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One problem I did not anticipate with this split is that since I lost all my foragers and that no water is being brought in, they are having a difficult time eating the candy to release the queen from her cage. They need water to dissolve the candy. I did provide them with a pint of water in the entrance feeder but they are not taking it. It makes me wonder how bees handle their water needs. Do they store it? Do they just mouth feed it to others? I know they use lots of water. Any thoughts?
 

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One problem I did not anticipate with this split is that since I lost all my foragers and that no water is being brought in, they are having a difficult time eating the candy to release the queen from her cage. They need water to dissolve the candy. I did provide them with a pint of water in the entrance feeder but they are not taking it. It makes me wonder how bees handle their water needs. Do they store it? Do they just mouth feed it to others? I know they use lots of water. Any thoughts?

Take an eye dropper and put a few drops of water in the cage on the candy. It will help softe it a little and allow them to eat through it a little quicker. If your cage has been in the hive more than 4 days you can also pry the screen off and let the queen loose, without a problem.
 
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