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Do folks pay more for overwintered nucs, or does it matter?
I would...:)
But now a lot of folks don't know, and don't care to know the difference...to them, a nuc is a nuc and how much they pay for it vs. a package is all that matters.

A true, successfully overwintered nuc is a colony that has proven it can stay together and make it through the winter. Not necessarily so with a nuc put together in the spring. I mean one can pull three/four frames of capped brood, give them a 2014 Queen and call it a nuc...They might make it on a good flow/good feeding and babysitting. But you'll have to wait the season and see how they will do. Not so with an overwintered nuc. Coming spring, these babies are exploding and are ready to go.

In my book, if I was to choose a spring nuc, vs. an overwintered nuc, I'll go for the overwintered nuc.

Speaking from my perspective...I have about 50 nucs, 5 frame deeps, that have come through the winter. All with 2013 queens. They started in late summer with 2-3 frames of capped brood and a mated queen...By now, all of them are 2-3 boxes, full of bees that either need to be split or given more space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would...:)
Speaking from my perspective...I have about 50 nucs, 5 frame deeps, that have come through the winter. All with 2013 queens. They started in late summer with 2-3 frames of capped brood and a mated queen...By now, all of them are 2-3 boxes, full of bees that either need to be split or given more space.
Okay, so i think this answers an unanswered question swimming in my head. Over wintered nucs are put together later in the year, right? Otherwise, how would you keep them from blowing out of the nuc box,(unless you used their resources elsewhere). You would want to put them together to take advantage of a good fall flow? Fill in the gaps for me. Thanks!
 

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@Jeyster...yes, I put them together later in the year. But also, like you say you can put them together anytime during the year, and keep them under control by using them as extra resources( build frames for you, provide extra brood for other colonies, etc)...See Michael Palmer's vast experience and inspiring take on the nucs.
A good fall flow is/would be great to have indeed. If not, you'll have to feed, but I tell you, it's much easier to feed a fall nuc to get them ready for winter than it to feed a large production colony.
 

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@Jeyster...yes, I put them together later in the year. But also, like you say you can put them together anytime during the year, and keep them under control by using them as extra resources( build frames for you, provide extra brood for other colonies, etc)...See Michael Palmer's vast experience and inspiring take on the nucs.
A good fall flow is/would be great to have indeed. If not, you'll have to feed, but I tell you, it's much easier to feed a fall nuc to get them ready for winter than it to feed a large production colony.
How did you over winter nucs that you made up in the summer? How many frames did the bees cover? Did you put a nuc of honey frames above them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
...See Michael Palmer's vast experience and inspiring take on the nucs.
Oh, That's right...thanks for reminding me about M. Palmer. I did watch a video of him speaking in England a few months back. Now that we're coming into the thick of it I'll have to revisit!
 

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@WBVC...

Well, July and August 2013 is when I put these nucs together.

I like them strong, so each had at least 3 frames of capped brood, all the adhering bees and another frame or two of nurse bees shaken on top. One or two frames of honey/pollen depending on each situation... Some, I made with the queen from the hive I was splitting...some I made with mated queens freshly pulled out of my mating nucs...some, I made with some mated queens I bought.
Each one requires a little different approach...the ones with the original queen are pretty much left alone and making sure they have enough resources to build up for fall/winter.
The other ones, I check more often to make sure the new queens are accepted and get to laying. Most end up humming pretty good before the fall gets set in.

These, with new queens, I also feed 1:1, regardless of flow. The acceptance seems better and they get going good. Some, if not all, require another box before winter, especially if a good fall flow materializes. I did not have to feed them 2:1 at all.

Another thing I noticed with these nucs, is that if you continue to feed them, and give them frames of foundation, they will draw beautiful worker comb. Also noticed, 2013 queens mated after the end of June, were laying well into the fall and all these nucs appeared to have more bees ( young bees at that) going into the winter.
Some of this comb, they back fill with honey and/or syrup...and these frames can be then set up as winter reserves ( keep in the freezer maybe for later use ) or give to other hives, or keep them on the nucs. Lots of options...

Where I am located, I was able to feed all the way till November, even mid November. Now, going into the winter, they all had plenty of reserves and plenty of bees...but also, all have been provided with a sugar brick on top of the reserves. Coming January of 2014 I provided all w/pollen sub. Most of them by Feb 2014 have started brooding really good, starting to move into the top box so they were all reversed.
Some needed another box...

Despite an unusual long and nasty ( for this place anyways) Winter, with false Spring starts, I sure love to see these puppies gearing up for what is to come...
 
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