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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just inspected a double stack 5 frame nuc and it is full of bees to the point where I am afraid they may swarm? I just inspected the top box and 4 frames had capped and open brood and 1 frame was all capped honey. I pulled the capped honey frame and replaced it with a foundation frame. I did not get to the bottom box because the bees were bearding all over both boxes and I really didn't want to disturb them. I do not have another nuc box at the moment to split, nor do I want to spilt now. My question is there anything I can do with this two stack to prevent swarming. I guess I can put the top box in a 8 frame deep which I have and start a new colony? I really do not want to start a new colony at this time, but if your suggestions warrant it, I will. I am in New Jersey at the shore zone 7a.

Thanks as always in advance!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Without having gone into the bottom box, you really don't know where you stand at the moment. Bottom could be empty, or full of pollen and honey, or full of brood. If it is as packed as you say, do a flyback split with the 8 frame box. Put the 8 framer where the nuc is now, move the nuc to another spot in your yard. Put the queen and one or two frames of capped brood in the 8 frame box along with an extra shake of nurse bees. Add six empty frames to the hive and put a feeder on it. You will slow down bee production in the nuc while they are busy making a new queen and you will get a bunch of drawn out frames in the process. You will also end up with a spare queen that you might be able to sell if you choose to recombine the nuc and the 8 frame hive later.
 

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Do you have any other hives? If so you could take a couple of capped brood frames from your nuc and give to the other hive(s)- that will set it back a bit. I have a bunch of nucs started at different times and I try to equalize them so they all go into winter at similar strength. Why do you not want to split ? It is not too late (if you feed).
 

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Sorry, I forgot to mention- the bearding at this time is not a reliable indicator of lack of space- I checked a couple of my 5+5 nucs (with small entrance holes) and they were literally empty of bees inside, most of them were hanging out...
 

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I'm a 3rd yr rookie no here. This is what I do with my 5 frame nucs. I run all medium equipment also. Let em build up the 2 boxes, add a third box. Pulling up 2 frames of brood to the 3rd box. I stagger in 3 undrawn frames between the brood frames. I don't use foundation anymore. When the bees draw out most of the 3 frames in top box, I move em out. I simply move the 3/5 framer nuc to the side, insert my 10 frame bottom board, and add box 1 . Then simply add 2 bottom boxes from nuc into this. Then add 2nd 10 frame box on top. Since I run no foundation, I simply stagger in 5 frames of brood between the new 5 frames. They will draw em out pretty fast during a flow. I like to put a pollen sub in 1 time per week for 3 weeks in between each box. After that they are usually on their own. Watch your hive population grow fairly fast. Feeding hives another subject. As robbing is a big issue this time of year.. dearth conditions in most areas.
Good luck and happy beekeeping !!!
Also, j.w. posted a great option with splitting the hive. J.w. gives great advice, and is spot on with the bees. ��
 

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I see 2 choices here for you. The first would be to add a third box and leave them alone for a week or two. The other choice is to put them into a double 8 frame and do the same leave them alone. Those are to eases thing to do.
 

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I'm also curious why you don't want to split now. Dearth? Don't want more colonies?

As Mr. Palmer says, check that lower box. It may be empty or may have a bunch of swarm cells.

You can do a split now and recombine later when you have more equipment available. But now they are in a double nuc only. That's a pretty small space if the colony wants to expand.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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I just inspected a double stack 5 frame nuc and it is full of bees to the point where I am afraid they may swarm? I just inspected the top box and 4 frames had capped and open brood and 1 frame was all capped honey. I pulled the capped honey frame and replaced it with a foundation frame. I did not get to the bottom box because the bees were bearding all over both boxes and I really didn't want to disturb them. I do not have another nuc box at the moment to split, nor do I want to spilt now. My question is there anything I can do with this two stack to prevent swarming. I guess I can put the top box in a 8 frame deep which I have and start a new colony? I really do not want to start a new colony at this time, but if your suggestions warrant it, I will. I am in New Jersey at the shore zone 7a.

Thanks as always in advance!
so put the whole thing, into a full size hive 8 or 10, double and let it build up for winter.
its not starting now, as you state it is 10 frames big and has laying queen and stores.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I inspected the bottom nuc box this afternoon and as I suspected 4 frames have capped, larvae, and eggs. So 81/2 frames are packed with bees and all the goodies. So I’m gonna have to transfer?? I’m a second year beek and these hives are on a roof. I started with 2 8- frame double deeps and now have 3 hives and a nuc. I’m trying to keep it small, but I have room for another 8 framer. I am trying to convert to single brood boxes, but I think I will do what Gray Goose suggested.

Thanks for all of your advice! ��
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Well now you know. Sounds like your nuc is doing really well. I also like GGs advice. If you find the apiary growing too large, you can sell the extra bees on CraigsList in the springtime and make a few dollars in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay new question. Gonna take the 5 over 5 nuc and put it in a double 8 framer. Suggestions on putting the 10 frames in the 8 over 8??? 6 on the bottom and 4 on top with honey frame and foundation on the sides??5 over 5 with a honey frame on the side and foundation to fill out the hive? Looking for the proper configuration?

Thanks again!
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Okay new question. Gonna take the 5 over 5 nuc and put it in a double 8 framer. Suggestions on putting the 10 frames in the 8 over 8??? 6 on the bottom and 4 on top with honey frame and foundation on the sides??5 over 5 with a honey frame on the side and foundation to fill out the hive? Looking for the proper configuration?

Thanks again!
I in general "leave" the current configuration, so the top 5 in the top box the bottom 5 in the bottom box right over each other.
However if you are very honey bound, you can put the stores against the wall, IE frame 1,5,4,3,2,f,f,f For winter they will have the first couple frames at the edges filles and the emptyer ones more centered. then give then a couple weeks to start on the building, and shift the frames to 5,4,3,2,f,f,f,1. this would be what I do if 1 and 5 are filled. Initially leave the 5 over 5 somewhat intact, (brood nest integrity) try not to put a honey barrier in the center, shift to fall config in time with stores to the outside. same concept for the top or bottom, try to not let the brood get chilled, allow expansion sideways with out honey barrier.

It may be time to find a second spot for more hives :)
Or perhaps sell 1 or 2 in the spring, if 100% survive the winter. Too many bees is a better problem than too few :)

GG
 

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I just inspected a double stack 5 frame nuc and it is full of bees to the point where I am afraid they may swarm? I just inspected the top box and 4 frames had capped and open brood and 1 frame was all capped honey. I pulled the capped honey frame and replaced it with a foundation frame. I did not get to the bottom box because the bees were bearding all over both boxes and I really didn't want to disturb them. I do not have another nuc box at the moment to split, nor do I want to spilt now. My question is there anything I can do with this two stack to prevent swarming. I guess I can put the top box in a 8 frame deep which I have and start a new colony? I really do not want to start a new colony at this time, but if your suggestions warrant it, I will. I am in New Jersey at the shore zone 7a.

Thanks as always in advance!
make or get a med 5 frame super
 

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Fly back splits are a fun option. I do it slightly differently than jw described above. I put in only 1 frame of young larvae and /or eggs. Most of the mites are under brood cappings. Most of the rest are on nurse bees. Thus the old queen in original location has far fewer mites to deal with. The requeening "half" can be treated (with oa etc) when all the brood has emerged. The one with all the comb does not need to build so when the nest is reestablished by the new queen they go into winter well. By feeding the one drawing comb as needed (depending on your flow) they can draw about 8 combs in a month (if it's from a 10 frame deep hive; your mileage will very depending on size of original colony). A caution to Fly back: during dearth I find far fewer queens return mated: fewer drones and more robbing pressure. I do all my splitting before dearth. Or instead of splitting you can equalize / boost or feed colonies with resources from Nucs that are getting full.
To GGs installation: here in upstate NY I like to have undrawn frames down and out by Aug 1 as they usually won't draw more comb unless fed. So I would install them with brood in the middle and honey on the outside with maybe 1 undrawn frame in top box (depending on your flow or feeding goals). Then put left over brood in the middle of bottom box with undrawn frames on either side. Let us know your observations! Have fun!
 

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Same here in central PA but Sept 1 is my cutoff. I learned early all my winter losses were hives with undrawn frames.
Do you suppose it is the undrawn frames or the circumstances of wearing out your fat wintering bees with drawing comb and fanning down a lot of syrup. Supposedly the wintering bees are ones who have not had to forage or feed brood which depletes their fat body.
 

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IMO undrawn combs around them would be an incomplete nest, and the aforementioned combs would also not be filled with stores.
so 2 strikes. would need to feed AND have periodic mobility to the feed.

either give them some frames of stores of pour the feed to them now. With comb and filled is the better winter position spot.

the shell of liquid around them helps with heat retention and modulation, think wet suit....

GG

GG
 
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