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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I saw this on another thread, but can't find it now. When moving a nuc to a 10 frame box, do you put the nuc frames in the center with frames on each side or do you put the nuc frames all the way to one side and all the empty frames on the other half? Does it really matter?

I had a nuc that seems to have made it through the winter and I thought I'd put them in a hive and maybe start another nuc in a few weeks.

Thanks for any input.

BB
 

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this is one of those questions where you'll get many answers
I'd put the nuc in the center of the box and the empty frames on the outside
as soon as the bees are bringing in resources, stuff is blooming, there is a flow, I'd rotate one empty frame at a time into the center of the nuc frames
the bees hate this empty space and will draw out the foundation and start using it
once they draw one frame and begin to use it rotate in another

you'll get other answers:)

Dave
 

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There's a number of ways to go about this. Do you have empty drawn frames to introduce, or new foundation?

If it were me I'd probably put the middle three nuc frames in the center at say(4,5,6) and put the outer two at 2 and 8. Thus, mixing in some empty space at the edges of the cluster.
 

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If you only have foundation and are increasing to 10 frames from a 5 frame box you will get the foundation drawn out faster if you place the foundation above in a 5 frame shell.
The heat from below will help the wax builders.

Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions.

I do have 10 frames of drawn comb, but thought I'd split it up into 2 or 3 nucs to try and catch some swarms this spring, or to hive any swarms from either or both of my existing hives. (I've got a swarm control plan, but if I fail, I'm hoping I can either catch or lure them into nucs or hives using these frames)

I didn't really expect the nuc to make it through the winter, but it did so far and it looks like we'll be getting bulbs and tree pollen going in a week or so. Henbit could be in three to five weeks depending on weather of course.

I'm planning to do the move about the time henbit starts. Right now, we still have night temps in the 20s. I think if I do it on a sunny day with temps in the hi 50s to 60s, they will have time to reorganize before it gets too cold.

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You always keep the brood frames in the middle together in same order. Put the five in the middle and empty on out sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ray,

"More important would be is there a nectar flow on when you do this and are you going to put on a feeder?"

Iwombat,

"Do you have empty drawn frames to introduce, or new foundation?"

I plan to do this in conjunction with the henbit/dandelion bloom. This should start in just a few weeks. My hives are in a small town and generally there are a lot of areas that are green, purple and yellow in early spring. We have a lot of elm and maple that will be starting to have pollen any day now.

I'll feed if they need it, but the last two years, they've basically ignored the syrup, preferring natural nectar. Both of my hives have excess stores right now, but I did put sugar on the nuc a couple of weeks ago. It's suppose to be in the 40s and 50 next week here, but night temps are still in the 20s.

If the hive works out, a friend of mine wants me to put it on his farm for their garden this summer.

Ray, I guess if you had problems by putting them all on one side you wouldn't keep doing it. What made you start doing it this way? Or have you done it like that from the beginning?

Walt,

I actually have extra foundation, but I thought I'd use it for swarm traps and to start another nuc or two in case I need queens this summer.

I may keep 3 frames of comb in the hive. 2 on one side, one on the other with the 5 frames from the nuc in the middle and an empty frame on each side of the brood. That would leave me with 7 frames of comb for other uses.

Dave,

"I'd rotate one empty frame at a time into the center of the nuc frames
the bees hate this empty space and will draw out the foundation and start using it
once they draw one frame and begin to use it rotate in another"

That's kind of what I did last year to control swarming from the nuc, except I rotated one frame out from the edge. Seemed to work pretty well, and I'm going to try it with the hives this spring for swarm control. They do seem to draw it out pretty fast when you do that.

Wish me luck!

BB
 

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Putting in a feeder and keeping them fed is essential if not in a major flow but they will draw out comb twice as fast in a flow. Personally I put the 5 frames in the middle positioned exactly like in the nuc with a feeder aginst the wall and one frame to one side and 3 frames on the other.
 

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I put my 5 frame nucs in the middle w/ combs on the outside. If the nuc is really strong and has lots of honey, I will put an empty comb or two inside the outer frames of the nuc. Sometimes even a frame of foundation. All of this is dependent on the strength of the nuc colony, whether one or more of the frames is full of honey and what the weather is like, am I going into warmer weather w/ a nectar flow happening or on the way.
 

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Ray,

"More important would be is there a nectar flow on when you do this and are you going to put on a feeder?"

Ray, I guess if you had problems by putting them all on one side you wouldn't keep doing it. What made you start doing it this way? Or have you done it like that from the beginning?

Wish me luck!

BB
I used to collect a lot of swarms. I would put them into a box of foundation, with no feeder. Over 90% of the time, they start on one side and work to the other. Excess pollen (if any excess beyond what is needed for brood rearing) will get stored closest to where they started, and as they expand, there is always a frame of open nectar ahead of the frame the queen is laying in. These were my observations when I was swarm collecting.

This is what I've observed in my hives, and observed when I've boxed swarms on foundation, so I mimic this when making up a nuc or when expanding a nuc into a larger box. In the nuc, one side will more likely than not have a frame of mostly open nectar, that frame I put to the side of the larger box which will allow me to put the rest in the order taken out of the nuc. If I put in a division board feeder at this time, I put it against the side of the larger box and then the frames from the nuc and then foundation or drawn combs to fill to the other side.

If I use a top bottle feeder, as I sometimes do, then I do it different. I put the nuc in the center, as other's have stated, so that the bottle feeder will be right over the cluster. I use migratory covers and in some I've drilled a hole 2/3 back from the front and in the center side to side, for a bottle feeder. When feeding bees, I feel it's good to keep the feed over or to the side of the nest cluster, depending on the type of feeder I'm using. And I do not use front boardman feeders for various reasons.

As usual, there's more than one answer and a lot of it depends on what you want from your hives and what your beekeeping philosophy is, and what the area you keep your bees in can provide as far as pollen and nectar flows and weather.

Best of luck to you in your beekeeping adventures!
 

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>I didn't really expect the nuc to make it through the winter, but it did so far

Just curious how you wintered your nuc, did you wrap it with anything?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
>Just curious how you wintered your nuc, did you wrap it with anything?
I didn't do anything special. That's why when the weather warmed up for a couple of days a few weeks ago and I saw bees flying in and out, I was surprised! About the only thing that would have helped, other than these were from local feral stock, was that the hive was protected from the north by my garage. Winter here was pretty cold most of the winter with highs only in the 30s and a lot of teens and 20s with a pretty good snow storm and a few other snows.

It hasn't been warm enough yet to really open the hive to see how large the cluster is, but temps look good in the upcoming week. Maples are about ready to bust out in pollen, elms won't be far behind and the henbit is greening up, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

You know the old saying, "It's better to be lucky than good". Or is it "God looks after drunks, fools and beginning beekeepers"?

BB
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the explanation Ray. I wish I had more than one nuc, so I could do one each way and see what the difference is here. I'm going to try and bring two nucs through winter next year and do it both ways.

When I started out, I had a package and a swarm, both on foundation. The package drew out the foundation much as you described, but very slowly. They barely had two deeps going into winter. The swarm drew out foundation so fast I couldn't really tell! After they had one deep drawn, I started robbing brood to help the package, so they went into winter also with only two deeps, but I believe if I had left them alone, I would have gotten a pretty good honey harvest from them.

Thanks for the help Ray. I appreciate your experience and opinions.

BB
 
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