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Discussion Starter #1
Is there anything wrong with starting a package of bees in a five frame nuc for the first month?
 

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No you will probably need to use an entrance feeder to feed them. Nuc top feeders are harder to find unless you make one your self. Just be sure to keep an eye on them it probably want take long to fill the five frame with brood, pollen,honey.
 

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When bees are ferel, or live in nature, they sometimes move into a confined area this size. They should be ok. Remember though, nucs are modular too! You can add another "super" on top of the current hive! I would recommend hive staples and/or a decent sized rock or brick on top to keep from blowing over in heavy winds.
 

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The package will blow through the nuc in no time. If you do not stay on top of them you will find swarm queen cells.
 

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Actually, I would expect extreme bearding with a suicide swarm being cast late in the year. I still think adding another nuc on top is the ticket. It would make a decent sized garden hive.
 

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The package will blow through the nuc in no time. If you do not stay on top of them you will find swarm queen cells.
If the nuc is drawn wax, probably. But I'm not too sure in the first year on undrawn frames that they would.. I'm not sure... Maybe some ol'timers can chime in. I'd bet that they would overrun the nuc the second year though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It would have new undrawn foundation in them. I think I would use a division board feeder also. Here in Minnesota the nights are still dipping down near freezing so I think that would be my best bet for a feeder.
 

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I started a package in a nuc last spring (early April in AL) and it worked great! The girls can spend their energy on drawing comb rather than keeping warm. You should have five fully drawn combs and lots of eggs in a week or so if you feed. I would think seriously about an entrance feeder. Even a two pound package will be in contact with it in all but the coldest weather.
 

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A 1 gal feeder pail fits well on a 5 frame nuc. A 3 lb package will fit in a 5 frame nuc well. It will be at least 21 days before they start to expand but it would be at least 30 days before you would have to worry about being overpopulated because the some of the original bees in the package will be croak'n(age) by then.
 

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As you've heard, it is a good idea to start them in a nuc...but be careful, because if you feed them, they will expand rather quickly. Be prepared in a couple of weeks to move them into larger quarters. What I do with packages is keep feeding them heavily until they get built up into the configuration I want them for their permanent quarters. If they're strong bees, before the season ends I get to pull the feeder, and add extracting supers, and even get some surplus honey off them the first season. Not sure how it would work in your neck of the woods though. But stay ahead of them, with both space and feed, and you'll have a gang-buster colony for next year!
Good luck!
Steven
 
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