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Looking to boost population in a couple new Nucs fresh out of the mating castle. Other than being careful to not get the queen, is there any preferred method or frame type of bees to shake from? Fresh capped brood, close to emerging brood. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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If you're looking to boost population of these NUC's there's a couple ways to do so.

1. If adding frames to the NUC. Make sure you get one with Capped Older brood starting to emerge if you can. These i've found are darker brown than just recently capped brood. The boost you will get from young nurse bees is great, as well as it opening up area for the new queen to lay in.

2. If only needing to add more bees. What I do is find a frame that has had mostly capped brood that has emerged. Usually the younger nurse bees from that frame will hang out on it for a time prior to moving through the hive. The young is what you need in a NUC to start with, as the older bees that helped create the queen will become foragers.

I hope this helps. It's what I do with mine.
 

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When adding adult bees I prefer to use young nurse bees from frames of unsealed brood. If I add frames, I prefer capped and emerging brood. If the nucs are in the same yard as the donor colony, any bee old enough to have flown before being shaken into the nuc will return to the donor colony.
 
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