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Author Topic: Overwintering Nucs  (Read 6378 times)
Draginol
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« on: August 22, 2007, 07:20:09 PM »

I have a couple of nucs and was interested in finding ways of safely overwintering them.

I think the challenge is in being able to reliably feed them. Does anyone here have any suggestions on this? I was thinking of maybe a place that might sell Nuc covers with a spot to put on sugar or something to feed the bees.  But not sure if that would work either as I understand bees, even on sugar can sugar, can get dysentary.
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pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 07:25:12 PM »

Try to do a search on baggie feeders. I think ted has a post that describes how to set it up. Also Finsky talks about using a tera heater under the hives.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 07:29:34 PM »

I've been working on a reliable system for overwintering nucs.  Can't say I've arrived but I have had some luck.  There have been many discussions on Beesource and probably on here as well.  My experiences are here:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 08:21:34 PM »

I overwintered 2 Russian colonies in nucs this past winter. They did great. Each hive was two deep nucs high which would be the same area as one deep super. I used Miller Bee Supplies hive top feeders which worked real good. http://www.millerbeesupply.com/Page17.htm
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TwT
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2007, 09:05:53 PM »

I overwintered 3 nucs last year, just 3 deep nuc's, no supers or anything, I feed heavy in the late fall with top feeders then took off the top feeders and after it was a warm winter and the bee's werer working most of it I added the 2" shims and put baggies feeders on when it got cold, I use top feeders when it is warmer, they worked great, see with the warm weather they went through there winter stores and I knew it would get cold before the spring hit, the baggie feeders worked fine, all 3 nuc's were in 10 frame hives before the flow hit, all 3 ended up with 3 deeps, I have split them once and going to make nuc's with the other depps before long, try before the fall flow, but this winter I have 25 nucs going to winter so we will see, last year all 3 made it so lets try 25 this year  grin Wink
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 07:34:33 AM by TwT » Logged

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Moonshae
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2007, 09:44:34 PM »

I'm going to keep two in my basement, with tubing to the outside, and feeding them with top feeders all winter. Hoping that will work for me.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2007, 09:57:54 PM »

I like the way of this system i got photo from BJORN BEE fondant dose not cause condensation which can result in nosemea and many other problems. long lasting  worth a try in my book RDY-B              http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x236/BjornBee/?action=view&current=beepictures029.jpg
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007, 07:45:16 AM »

I've tried many ways from in the basement to on top of another hive.  I never had much luck trying to feed syrup all winter due to dysentery.   My best results are from feeding sugar candy and giving a little supplemental heat from the bottom with 7 watt night lites.
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BMAC
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2007, 07:52:15 AM »

I have about 8 NUCs right now that I have completely ignored all summer.  It is absolutely amaxing they have not just up and swarmed on me. 

Anyway I have similar bottom boards as Micheal Bush and thought about placing the main hive right on the south side of my house for the winter.  That way the hives are blocked from the North and East sides by the house.  The only wind that can come thru is from the south east, but it has to break through the tree line.  It will also give me the opportunity to run a small heat pad to the hive if indeed it does get extremely cold on them through the winter months.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2007, 08:33:10 PM »

Here's my newest plan to feed them:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm

Look at the apartment stacking of the bottom board feeder.
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Michael Bush
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rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2007, 10:28:40 PM »

very interesting indeed would like to hear more about that i like the versatility of feeding pollen patty also do they build much ladder-comb down on frame might help reduce drowning once its established thumbs up RDY-B
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2007, 12:29:41 AM »

I like the way of this system i got photo from BJORN BEE fondant dose not cause condensation which can result in nosemea and many other problems. long lasting  worth a try in my book RDY-B              http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x236/BjornBee/?action=view&current=beepictures029.jpg


The two nucs of Russian bees I overwintered in NJ had queens in them from Bjorn. I used a hive top feeder but also fed them fondant which Bjorn suggested for the same reason you are stating which I think makes alot of sense. I would like to find a cheap supplier of fondant in NJ however. I know there must be one out there. I made the fondant myself. My nucs were two nuc bodies high each which worked real well for me and we had some cold spells this past winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2007, 07:10:55 AM »

As with any feeder that has bees in it, you have to pour syrup in very slowly to not drown the bees.  A float made of 1/4" plywood probably wouldn't hurt, but I haven't made any yet.  You only need to pour a tiny amount in every day to keep them fed, If you want to do more, I'd make two passes and put a little in to get them off the floor, and then come back around and add some more slowly to top them off.
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Michael Bush
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TwT
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2007, 07:26:20 AM »

As with any feeder that has bees in it, you have to pour syrup in very slowly to not drown the bees. 



I personal dont like feeders like that, this is the type feeder I use and they work fine and not hard to build, this picture is from my buddies site, Dwight Porter, me him and fatbeeman use this type feeder, it only holds about a quart for nuc's

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rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 04:19:26 PM »

CWBEES the up side about fondant i think is that the bees dont have to break cluster to get the food set it directly on top bars and bees remain in cluster while food is consumed  understanding winter cluster is one of the keys to success  even in cali we get cold snaps that can be a real set back   RDY-B
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2007, 10:45:18 PM »

As with any feeder that has bees in it, you have to pour syrup in very slowly to not drown the bees. 



I personal dont like feeders like that, this is the type feeder I use and they work fine and not hard to build, this picture is from my buddies site, Dwight Porter, me him and fatbeeman use this type feeder, it only holds about a quart for nuc's




I have the same nuc feeders you have TwT. I purchased them from Millers and they work great.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2007, 10:21:44 AM »

CWBEES the up side about fondant i think is that the bees dont have to break cluster to get the food set it directly on top bars and bees remain in cluster while food is consumed  understanding winter cluster is one of the keys to success  even in cali we get cold snaps that can be a real set back   RDY-B

How does the cluster get past the paper plate without breaking cluster??  That is why I use hard candy right on top.  I agree though,  miller type feeders are not an option in areas with real Winters. If they have to break cluster to get to the food,  chances are they will starve during a prolonged cold snap.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2007, 02:28:39 PM »

ROBO ; yes how indeed that photo was somebody else's pic thats why i said in my post  place directly on top bars (dont need paper plate)  when it is cold. bees dont have to move food keeps being consumed  cool its all good many ways to skin a cat  RDY-B
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2007, 03:01:02 PM »

ah OK.  It is hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like it may be kind of soupy and that was the need for the paper plates.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2007, 03:26:38 PM »

For the less adventurous beekeepers..... You can find a fully enclosed high capacity feeder - it is a patented product of Bee-Commerce.com - That is the Author of Beekeeping for Dummies - www.bee-commerce.com site where he offers many great (although often high-end pricing on products found at other major sites. like super bodies, and similar wood and wax products.

The point is his inner over (I'll post the exact link when I get more time - or some kind member will post it for me Smiley

I think you'll "see" the feeder on that home page of his. I think his protected feeder is a nice looking self contained thing, especially if you don't want an entrance feeder, but hate refilling sugar syrup containers ever day or two - I don't own one of these but was always curious if any members were, I SURELY WOULD APPRECIATE SOMEONE WHO BOUGHT ONE to tell us how well it work.

I'm lazy, but lucky this year, I didn't need to feed and both hives are doing very well, C1 ahead of C2 by less than a queen's life. Not to bad bad, both hive VERY gentle to work.
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