Author Topic: August nucs  (Read 478 times)

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Offline tedh

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August nucs
« on: August 21, 2018, 09:15:27 am »
Hey Everyone,
  We are thinking of creating a couple of nucs.  The plan would be to create two 5 over 5 nucs complete with bees, brood, stores and a mated queen, trying to simulate where a nuc made in June would be now.  In our area the weather usually doesn't shut us down, too cold to open hives, until mid November.  One concern that i think of is that queens will be slowing down during this period.  What do you folks think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?  Give it a go?  Give it a pass? Thanks, Ted
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Offline Lburou

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 11:16:00 am »
I have done this in the past and don't see any glaring issues with your plan as long as the brood nest(s) are established before winter and mites are under control.  There are many variables that affect the bees going into winter.  The bees can deal  with most of them.  Have a plan for emergency feeding if it becomes necessary.  HTH   :)
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Offline Some Day

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 11:50:49 am »
Where are you getting your bees and brood for the nucs?  Are you sacrificing your two weakest hives to make the nucs or are you taking a frame here and there from all of your hives?  How many frames of brood are you going to place into each nuc?  Do you have pollen frames available?

What is your back up plan if one or more queens is not accepted or is  a dud?

Based on what I am seeing for weather here, I would plan on feeding the nucs 1:1 and pollen supplement.  This would stimulate the new queens to lay.  I think you will need to get at least two rounds of new healthy bees to have a winter nest. 

If we get any rain to get a nectar fall flow golden rod and Spanish nettle should help with winter stores. Having the 1:1 available will be insurance, if there is a flow the bees won't use it much.

I would also make sure they are as low on mites as you can possibly achieve.

I am thinking you may be on to something that will work.  You will be creating a brood break that will interrupt the mites late summer build up.  If you hammer the mites when they are exposed and not under capped brood your nucs should have a great chance to make it.

Do you do mite checks?  If so how?  What are your thresh holds for acceptable mite numbers>

Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 12:35:24 pm »
Some Day:
My intension is to let the individual colonies tell us what to do, but having said that I'd like to pull a frame or two of brood from several of our strongest hives.  We don't intend to sacrifice any colonies,,but again the colonies will tell us what needs to happen.  We're leaning towards four frames of brood plus one empty drawn frame in the bottom with five frames of stores up top. We do have pollen frames available but doubt we'll need them as pollen seems to be available all season.  In case of one queen failure we'll move both colonies into ten frame deeps and combine.  If two queens fail we'll move bboth into tem frame deeps and combine with our two weakest colonies.
 
We have been getting some rain over the last couple weeks so I'm hopeful of a decent flow and we are working on mites now.  We treat for mites in the spring and fall.  Yeah, I know, but thats what we do.  Why lie when the truth will work?  Six mites per cup of bees (300 bees; in the fall), 3 mites per cup (300 bees; in the spring) is the thresholds we've used in the past.

Lburou:  Thanks! Knowing someone has done this in the past takes away the fear of being "that guy" with a wild scheme. :o. Ted
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Offline Some Day

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2018, 12:50:28 pm »
Ted,

I think you have a very good plan.  I think with the four frames of brood and the stores and drawn comb you have a very good chance of being successful. I just hope the bees agree with us.

Have you decided yet on where you are getting your queens?

Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2018, 12:58:43 pm »
I forgot to mention, we intend to shake a good amount of bees, more than we would in the spring, into both nucs.  Maybe an important step.  Ted

Some Day:  Josh should be here about 1:30, we'll talk it over during inspections.  I think we'll probably go with the Saskatraz just because that was the original plan, not the best reason admittedly, but we could probably talk ourselves out of the whole thing coming up with plans, counter plans, contingency plans, backup plans, and plans to back up those plans.  These are honey bees and not fissile material. :)  Ted
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Offline Riverrat

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2018, 05:36:18 pm »
I have had very good success with 5 over 5 nucs.  and have wintered even single 5 frame nucs.  I would make the split and feed 1:1 to get them rearing brood once you got a couple cycles of brood and building up you can switch to 2:1 for winter stores.  When I wintered nucs the most important thought was to watch them after the solstice as this is when they shift into building up and somewhere in that time when brood rearing starts thats when they will blow through the stores.  Most hives that starve over winter do so in February and march
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Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2018, 09:41:50 pm »
We have one hive that consists of three 10 frame deeps and thought/hoped we could use the top deep (all honey) for stores in the proposed nucs.  After closer inspection we decided taking that top deep would leave that hive short on stores.  We thought we'd be able to make up these nucs without negative impact on our existing hives, since this is not the case we decided to scrap the idea.  We did talk over taking the deep then feeding the hive to bring it up to winter weight but decided aginst that as the nucs were merely an idea not a necessity.  It was  good mental exercise all the same.  I appreciate everyones input.  Ted
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Offline Riverrat

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2018, 09:57:02 pm »
We have one hive that consists of three 10 frame deeps and thought/hoped we could use the top deep (all honey) for stores in the proposed nucs.  After closer inspection we decided taking that top deep would leave that hive short on stores.

I would pull a nuc out of the big and experiment dont think you got anything to loss but some valuable experience
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Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2018, 10:05:30 pm »
Now there's a thought.  Thanks Riverrat!
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2018, 09:06:21 am »
Where you getting the queens?
  Sounds like you have it under control.

 They need 4 things.
 NUMBERS and cluster size to maintain heat
 Food to sustain
 Low to no mites
 A dry home

   But you knew that.  ;D
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Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2018, 12:16:03 pm »
Hehehehe, lookit me go!
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Offline Jen

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2018, 03:32:43 pm »
Hi Ted, would you please explain 5 over 5 for me, Thanks!
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Offline Rugerbob

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2018, 07:02:55 pm »
double nuc

Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2018, 07:24:48 pm »
As Rugerbob said, a double nuc, five frames (in my case) on top of five frames.  Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2018, 10:37:46 pm »
ted, good luck to ya!

i'm with scott:
 They need 4 things.
 NUMBERS and cluster size to maintain heat
 Food to sustain
 Low to no mites
 A dry home


and i would add, a good queen, but scott already asked where the queens were coming from.

again, good luck and happy beeking with the wintering nuc adventure!
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 06:54:35 am »
I think 5 over 5 is what Michael Palmer does in Vermont.  I can see how this method would be effective in very cold places like Vermont.  You do want to be careful of two things TedH.  1) Where or how you obtain queens can be an issue in some places.... late summer queens are cheaper but at least here research has suggested drone viability and there fore queen quality may be seriously effected.  2) feed some but at a well thought out rate... since you want new bees in the box feeding too much will create brood nest back filling which will effect how many young bees you get rear before winter.  This is a knife edge kind of situation in that by the onset of winter you then want the brood nest pretty much filled with food resources.  I typically make the late summer nucs I make up here light on adult bees and give the young queen time to populate the box. A young queen typically will start out laying heavy even at the end of the season.

Offline tedh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 09:23:07 am »
Thank you Tecumseh.  A couple more things to consider and good to hear that a young queen will typically lay heavily even at this time of year, I've been wondering about the quantity of brood given the lateness of the season.  Ted
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: August nucs
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2018, 06:45:11 pm »
as far as timing Ted I would like to have 2 brood cycles (lets say 45 days) before cold weather set in.