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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased several new queens for some older hives and I ended up not using one of the new queens. Would it work out ok to start a Nuc box with two frames of brood and young bees out of a strong hive along with the new queen?

I really don’t want to waste the extra queen and I could use another hive come spring time.

Thanks for any advice
 

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I am not sure about your area but a nuc could be ok if you have enough time to get ot built up for winter.Or someone here close to you may need a queen.Another good point about starting a nuc is if you have a queen problem you have a good laying queen to use as needed.
 

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Squish her and buy a nuk for sixty dollars in the spring equals a 100% chance of having a nuk in the spring.

Put her in a nuk and feed a hundred dollars worth of sugar water equals a 20% chance of having a nuk in the spring.

Your choice
 

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Howeverlarge, it takes 40 to 60 pounds of honey to make it through the winter, plus what they eat before winter. How much is that??
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Decisions decisions,
Call it inexperience or stupidity but I decided to try to keep her. I took a full size hive and added two frames of brood from another hive along with the new queen. North Carolina winters are pretty mild for the most part. I’ll feed them through the winter and see what happens. I purchased 10 lbs of sugar today from Food Lion for $3,29.

I’m just going to use her as an experience builder.
 

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ARE YOU NUTS??? I mean, How did you come to this decision. lol

Do you know what a divider board is? We've been discussing the possibility that the bees can only Proctect/Heat/Occupy a certain amount of volumn. And to give them too much may insure failure. If you gave them two frames in a ten frame box, you may want to cut a board, cardboard even if it's temporary, to the exact internal dimensions of the hive and limit the ten frame box down to a two or three frame nuc.

Just in case you hadn't thought of it.

Hawk
 

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Carolina,

you are NOT nuts, but you should give them more frames. For late summer splits, its better to take more like 10 frames off for a "NUC" and feed the parent hive heavy also to spread the work load around. You can do a one layer of newspaper combine and condense things down to one box in 24hrs. You also need to keep a close watch on them. They need pollen, brood, and bees, you are providing sugar. Frames of honey help. Some empty frames are good to give the queen a place to lay. You may need to add more capped brood frames before the new queens eggs become bees. Also, put empty supers on other hives and feed them to get them to draw comb to give to the NUC, or parent hive if needed.

Keep the feed on there constantly, not one day empty, till it gets cool. Bees can't make honey in less than something like 60 degree weather? not sure on the temp.

When it does start getting cool, look at what you have, and combine the NUC if necissary. What will you have if you do combine? Experience, more drawn comb for next year to prevent swarming, do spits, and store honey, and more bees going into winter due to another laying queen. You will of course have to dispose of a queen at that point. You will be out some money for sugar, I say not $100. And some work, which is the valuable experience.

I'm doing all these things right now and my 2 new queens are still virgins. More for the experience, as you say, and becuase I wan't more drawn comb in the spring. Numbers of hives going into winter isn't as important to me right now as amount of drawn comb. Of course the more hives the merrier. It will take a mild october for me to succed. But thats not rare in the valley. Neither is mild temps in November. Since you say NC weather is mild I assume your not in the mountains!


also looking back I saw you said "full size hive"? now thats not good, use no more than one box. till its mostly drawn out, or being otherwise used. Meaning, if you have 10 frames of drawn comb in a box, let the queen get some brood in there, or the workers some honey before adding another empty box, again think seriously about getting other stronger hives to build comb for the nuc.
 

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<<<My daughter wanted to be a dancer, I wanted her to be a nurse. Now I'm paying for dance lessons.>>>

Carolina, I think it's hopeless, but if that is what you want to do, then go for it.
One suggestion, tho. I have some deep frames of honey frozen. Drive the forty miles to my house, pick up 1 or 2 frames of the honey and a 5 frame nuc box. I'll loan, give, or whatever, to you, just to give you a chance at a successful education.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Robert”
Thanks for the advise”
I had just finished building some new hives and I had started building several Nuc boxes but didn’t have any finished yet. After reading your post I finished one of the Nuc boxes and transferred them to it late this afternoon, the queen is still inside the cage so it was easy to move them to a new five frame Nuc box.

Michael W”
Education never comes cheap, you never know when a dumb country farmer will stumble across something new because of what he didn’t know to start with........lol
I’m in the center of the state 12 miles from the South Carolina state line so none of the cool mountains in our back yard.
I’m not a commercial bee farmer so I have the luxury to learn at my own expense. The queen is from an older friend and I really didn’t want to waste his hard work. I thought the experience of trying to keep her would be well worth the $12.00 I paid for her plus the sugar even if it didn’t work out.

Iddee
I would very much appreciate the frozen comb honey and I’ll drive up and get it as long as you let me pay you for it. I’m going to Portsmouth Va, Monday night on a business trip. I should be on my way back Wednesday morning if you could meet me somewhere Wednesday it would be great.

I agree it is more than likely not going to turn out to be a very productive effort but I enjoy putting things to the test, I’ve seem pretty warm temps here in December (seen it pretty cold too) but you never really know about the weather till it happens.
 

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Really valuable if your weakening a hive, buying sugar and building a nuc box to winter her! Do you have a hive with a 2nd or 3rd yr. queen? YOU could (ready Hawk) find her, squeeze her till she pops and requeen that hive. My predication though if you use enough sugar water it will provide a good lesson in spring dysentary clean out. Of course we all do these types of things in the beginning. We are just hopeless optimists!
 

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Carolina, I think you're doing great, keep on truckin! As someone else said, you wouldn't be the first new beekeeper that did something wrong, or stupid and far be it from me to pass judgment on what you're trying to do. If I lived down south instead of Maine, I'd probably try the same thing. I don't know if you'll succeed, but I wish you luck and you'll learn a lot in the process. Quite a few queens and a lot of bees have already paid the ultimate price for my education, and I'm no where near done learning.

Your mini-hive doesn't have a field force to speak of now and can't forage for pollen. Consider making up some pollen patties (plenty of recipes around, and you won't need much to start) for protein in addition to sugar water. They'll need it when they are raising brood. Getting some frames of honey from iddee is worthwhile- They don't have much comb to store sugar syrup in so some capped honey will be just the ticket. When they're clustered this winter, they'll be happy to have it handy. Don't feed them honey you buy from the store, you just don't know where it's been..

Putting everything in a 5 frame nuc was a good idea- leave them in there till they're busting out, then move them into a deep body and consider using a follower board to keep the space down to what they can occupy- don't give them more space than they can keep warm. A division board feeder- one of those inside feeders that replace a frame might be the best way to feed them- it would help reduce the space they need to keep warm.

You've got at least one thing going for you: The bees want to survive and will do what they can to do so. If you can help them obtain the conditions they need (a warm dry home, a good queen, sufficient numbers, good and sufficient food) they'll do the rest.

Let us know how it works out.

George-
 

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<<My predication though if you use enough sugar water it will provide a good lesson in spring dysentary clean out.>>

??
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I'm a big believer in not giving a struggling handful of bees more space than they can manage. I have medium depth 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 frame nucs. I move most of them through all of those iterations. I will often start a nuc with a frame of brood and a frame of honey in a two frame medium depth box. A lot of the bees will return to the hive so I really only end up with a frame of bees. When it gets to two frames of bees I move up.

I want only a little bit of room for expansion until they are established. Two frames of bees in a five frame nuc in the summer struggle, but they will probably do ok. Two frames of bee in a five frame nuc in the cold spring or fall have a very big struggle. If I have two frames of bees, I prefer to have them in a three frame box. Three frames of bees in a four frame box. Four frames of bees in a five frame box. Five frames of bees in an eight frame box. Seven frames of bees in a ten frame box. After that it's not so critical as they have reached enough critical mass to take better care of themselves. But then I move the ten frame box of bees into two eight frame boxes so I have ten medium frames of bees in two medium eight frame boxes. After that you can just add boxes. Once I have three eight frame medium boxes full of bees and the weather is warm I pretty much can't give them too much empty space (at least here where there are no SHB). I stack on the drawn comb for supers without any concern about space at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have been around beehives on the farm all my life but we never really paid them much attention. When they died out we bought new ones to replace them. I’ve had a number of hobbies over the years and my interest has now turned to beekeeping. I’m enjoying my new hobby so far and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes.

To me the main difference between education and intelligence is experience.

Joel”
I have five hives, I re-queen fore recently and the fifth hive is a hive that I recently purchased, I was planning to re-queen it too but the previous owner had already re-queen this hive at the end of July, if I had known in advance I would have only purchased fore queens instead of five. Seems like a waste to kill a perfectly good queen.
I removed two frames of brood from my strongest hive to add to the Nuc, I’m pretty sure I haven’t damager the strong hive past there ability to recover from losing two frames of brood, there is at least 80 lbs of honey on this hive plus two full depth brood boxes.

If they don’t make it well I wasted some sugar and a $12.00 queen, if they do make it till springtime I’ll end up with a new hive. In ether case I earn some experience that I don’t already have.

Robert”
The queen is an Italian queen from a local breeder.

George”
Thanks for the words of encouragement, I’ll keep you posted.
 

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dcross, High ash content honey (such as aster), crystalized honey and high sucrose content feed are not good food for bees. It often causes digestive difficulties that will show itself in the form of dysentary to include large amounts of defecation on the front of the hive or inside if the bees are not able to make cleansing flights.

George, I hope they make it and you have a good nuc in the spring. Idee's honey will be a big help and your area should be pretty moderate winter wise. I know how you feel I still hate it every time I have requeen and kill a queen.

I'm pulling for you and the bees! :cool:
 
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