Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have three nucs just started with queen cells which need a few more bees.
I also have a large hive with 4 full honey supers which are almost ready for removal. This hive is bearding 2-3 pounds of bees.

I want to add some bees to my nucs, but I want them to stay put. My plan is to shake another pound or so of bees into each nuc, and introduce via a newspaper combine.

Can I shake bees off of the honey supers, or are these mostly foragers which would just return to the mother hive? Do I need to shake the bees from brood frames only, if I want the bees to stay put?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
I made up a piece of break metal that clips onto the bottom board of the nuc box about the size of frame in width, then shake the bees onto that, any foragers fly off and house bees crawl into the nuc. One can do the same thing with a sheet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I made up a piece of break metal that clips onto the bottom board of the nuc box about the size of frame in width, then shake the bees onto that, any foragers fly off and house bees crawl into the nuc. One can do the same thing with a sheet.
rwlaw,

Nice solution. I've read something like that before, but forgot about it.

I suppose I could shake from honey frames and learn through experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
A second question comes into mind: what sort of bees hang out when bees are bearding? Are they foragers, house bees are both? Anyone know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Mr. Bush,

I might try one honey frame to observe what happens. Then I'll use brood frames to ensure good results.

Thank you.
Take it from experience, find and isolate the queen before shaking bees off the brood frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Take it from experience, find and isolate the queen before shaking bees off the brood frames.
rwlaw,

Thanks for the warning.

It ended up that I tried the beard-scraping technique. I couldn't resist.

I learned a few things:

1. The bearding bees consisted of roughly 1/2 foragers and 1/2 house bees/teen-age bees. When I scraped some off of the beard and put them in front of the first nuc, 1/2 of the bees took to the air, and 1/2 wandered aimlessly near the entrance. I waited about 20 minutes, but the bees outside the nuc didn't look very motivated. When I put a spritz of Swarm Commander within the nuc, the teenager bees formed up into a line and marched obediently inside.

2. The second nuc worked similarly, except that after shaving the beard for the second time, 1/2 of the bees flew, 1/2 of them sat on their haunches, and the third 1/2 started stinging the black iPhone sitting in my suit pocket. Apparently, honey bees prefer Android. They managed to get me once, right above the heart.

3. The item I used for scraping the beard was the Wall Street Journal. I don't think honey bees think much of capitalism either. Next time I'll use a proper razor to shave the beard. A laminated 8.5"x11" sheet would have been perfect.

All in all, it was a success, with some painful lessons learned. Each nuc got a nice boost in population. And this evening, when I took another look, the beard was twice as thick as it was before the shave.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,251 Posts
Chris, the way I separate the bees now is with a dishpan. Shake the frame into the pan. Shake the pan a little, the nurse bees will cling to the sides and crawl around, the foragers will fly off. Then dump the pan into the nuc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Chris, the way I separate the bees now is with a dishpan. Shake the frame into the pan. Shake the pan a little, the nurse bees will cling to the sides and crawl around, the foragers will fly off. Then dump the pan into the nuc.
JW,

Thanks for the idea. I have a dishpan, but I never thought to use it like that. Next time, I will.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top