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Author Topic: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?  (Read 1753 times)

Offline greenbtree

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How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« on: January 28, 2011, 05:26:28 PM »
I tried doing a search on this and came up empty, so -
In the Spring I want to make up some nucs from a couple of hives I have that I am not impressed with, and requeen them with queens from one of my good hives.  How many frames of bees need to go into a nuc to start?  Stores?  And is there a good book that details this kind of stuff?  Thanks.

JC
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Offline cam

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 06:29:37 PM »
Get Larry Connors "Increase Essentials" It'll answer all your questions.
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Offline AllenF

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 06:56:06 PM »
It really depends on your needs for the nucs and when in the year you do it.  I have started nucs with 1 frame of bees, 1 of honey, queen, and lots of feed.   But that was just to house queens for a while if needed.   2 or 3 frames of bees will build up much faster.  If you want more hives and some honey, put 4 frames of bees in a hive with drawn frames in the spring.  But most anything will work.

Offline greenbtree

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 08:45:53 PM »
Thanks.  I went ahead and ordered "Increase Essentials" today from Amazon.  1 to 2 month delivery estimate, which is why I ordered it today!

JC
"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"

Offline gardeningfireman

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 09:11:28 PM »
That's a good book. Generally I start a nuc with 2 frames of brood/eggs covered with bees, 1 or 2 of honey/pollen, and 1 or 2 empty, for a five-frame nuc. The empties allow them room to grow. Also dump in an extra frame of bees.

Offline Grandma_DOG

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 11:47:27 PM »
I think the other half the question is "How strong should the donor hive be that you take frames from?"
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Offline hardwood

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 11:58:45 PM »
We start our nuc splits as:

Weak split (our version that we use to build)= 2 frames of brood, 2 frames honey/pollen, 1 frame empty/foundation if you use it/drawn comb if you have it

Strong split (the ones we sell)= 3-4 frames brood, 1-2 frames honey/pollen.

The "weak" split build just fine on a flow and we can produce more. With the stronger splits we want to make sure that our customer can keep them alive even if they are novices.

I've made plenty of 1-frame splits too (what we call a "hard" split) but they need a bit more attention.

Scott
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Offline Course Bee

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 12:28:32 AM »
What do you do with your one frame splits? Does anything else go in the nuc?

Tim
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Offline hardwood

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2011, 12:34:37 AM »
The hard split get 2 frames of stores and are rounded out with drawn comb.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline jhs494

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 12:03:29 PM »
While you are waiting on your book to come. You may try watching the video Brushy Mountain has on their site from Dr. Conners.
You will see it on the list and you can watch it online.
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Resources/Videos.asp

Good Luck with your splits!
Joe
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Offline greenbtree

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 12:19:11 AM »
What I do with the couple of colonies that I want to use will depend on how they come out of the Winter.  If they are weak then I will just re-queen them rather than use them to make nucs.  If they are strong then I will make some nucs and leave them their queen.  Both these hives were slow to build in comparison to others of my hives, but if they come on strong this Spring I would give their queens another year.  Of course if my other hives start booming then I will want to make some nucs from them without depleting them.  I'll see how it goes.

JC
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 05:53:12 AM »
You can start a nuc with one frame of brood and one frame of honey, but it won't take off very fast.  About the equivalent of a ten frame deep (two eight frame mediums) will have enough critical mass in a flow to do well, or if fed in a dearth to do well.  Less will be struggling to get up to that level.
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Offline Bee Happy

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 07:02:05 AM »
The beek up the road who sells me some supplies is of considerable experience and  advised me that I can split to 3 frames per nuc. (1 brood, 1 pollen, 1 honey) I feel pretty safe assuming he meant from a fairly robust hive.  (He also told me to operate from a single deep because of the climate here)
I tried the 3 frame split right after the spring honey harvest around may and it worked out, though I'll be checking on one hive I think didn't make it due to robbing.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: How many frames of bees to start a nuc?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2011, 01:41:40 AM »
When I split a nuc I use 3 frames of bees, 1 of honey/pollen, and 1 empty frame.  I then add a 2nd nuc box and let them draw that out before I transfer them over to a regular hive.  Push come to shove, I've over-wintered bees in a double stacked nuc (medium at that), of course I'm talking Russians and Carnolians.

I also use 8 frame equipment so when I transfer from a double nuc to a hive I'm putting 5 drawn frames in the lower box with 3 empty frames.  Usually within a couple of weeks to a month of putting into the hive I add a 3rd medium box which is sufficient to over-winter a full size hive.
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