Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nuc #1

Well, I did it and I hope I did it right. One down and, at least, one more to go.

My First Nuc
I made this Nuc as Swarm Prevention for Mary.  Her brood up has been strong this Spring (she currently has about ten full brood frames in her).  My understanding is that replacing a few brood frames with undrawn frames alleviates to urge to swarm. In that they then have new frames to draw out in the brood nest so still have room to grow.

Before I could take any frames Queen Mary had to be found.  I went through each frame looking for her and noting which frames had the freshest eggs.  The top box looked good with frames filled with eggs, larva, pupa, drones, pollen, & nectar.  The bottom Deep had a larger percentage of eggs and, no surprise, the Queen.  I left her on the frame she was on because I'm not comfortable with handling her if I can avoid it.  I also had the two adjacent frames filled with eggs to use.  I looked at the eggs to make sure they were still standing up and not laying down, a sign they are over three days old and too old to make a good queen.  Then i took a frame from the top box with all the pollen & nectar.  All three went into the Nuc along with a frame of honey and a frame of pollen which came from Duchess's old hive.  Additionally, all the bees left in the Quiet Box afterward got shaken into the new Nuc as well.  I figure maybe up to four frames worth of bees went into the Nuc.

After all that the Nuc went out to the new stand.  I added a half gallon of 1:1 syrup on a boardman feeder.  The syrup contained a drop of thyme oil, a drop of peppermint oil, & a tablespoon of Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar.  Then the entrance was reduced to only allow a single bee at a time.  The tie down strap went on and it was a done deal.

Now to wait & watch.  In ten days I'll go into the Nuc and hopefully see a bunch of Emergency Queen cells.  I've been told to secure the biggest one and destroy the rest.  This keeps the queens from fighting and getting injured if two emerge at the same time. I could maybe cut out a queen cell and use it elsewhere but i need to read up on that first.

* ___________________________________________________________*


Doug Ladd said...

I hate to keep leaving post, but your site is great and i love talking bees.

I would be careful not to feed too much syrup to a queenless hive, they will store it and then by the time the queen is ready to lay she has no where to lay b/c all the brood that has hatched has been backfilled with syrup. Trust me last year i fed syrup to my nucs making their own and by the time the queen was ready she had no where to lay and they ended up produces more queen cells with her few eggs since i guess they felt they were too crowded in the brood nest or maybe she wasnt "laying good enough". I added a frame of drawn empty comb and things were fine. This year i am not feeding my nucs until after the queen starts laying assuming they have enough honey, but they still can forage too...

Somehting to think about and talk about...

immwia said...

This is amazing. Good luck with your first Nuc. It looks like you completed a LOT of work to clear the area for the new bees. Thank you for sharing.

Hemlock said...

Go ahead and comment all you want I'm still learning!

Good point about the back filling. I'll watch them to see how much of it they take. Though up 'till now they've taken very little of it.


Thanks! I can use all the luck I can get. I will be making another Nuc in about 2 more weeks.

We've been working on that spot since last Fall. All the hives will eventually end up down there.

Love Ya.