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Author Topic: How do you make a nuc?  (Read 3913 times)

Offline Kirk-o

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How do you make a nuc?
« on: January 10, 2006, 10:25:28 AM »
Hey do you make a nuc?Is it hard what is the procedure.
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Offline jgarzasr

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2006, 11:18:40 AM »
I tried last summer - I know a lot of people have success.  I didn't.  The Nuc I attempted got robbed to death.  So my suggestion is don't try to start one during a dearth.  I will try again this year.

Offline Chad S

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 12:05:51 PM »
If you took a couple of frames of bees from a hive with brood, and honey, and put it in a Nuc box in the same bee yard.  What happened was your field bees returned to the old hive.  There were not enough bees in the Nuc to defend against any outsiders.  Furthermore the field bees that returned to the old hive probably returned to the Nuc to rob it out.  Did you use a Nuc box/5 frame box or just a ten frame deep?  Did you reduce the entrance, or do anything to re-orient the bees?

I know some here have success with placing branches, and such in front of hives, and had good results re-orienting bees, I have not (I am sure this is an operator error).  The problem is if you want the Nuc to raise a queeen then you need to be near the bee yard so when the queen goes for her nuptual flight she will have a good number of drones to choose from, and hopefully a broader scope of genetics.  So moving the Nuc away with out a queen may not work so well.  In addition you set the hive back while waiting for them to produce a queen that may or may not be viable.

I did a cut down split last year, and split a ten frame deep into two colonies in early July.  I bought 2 queens $18.00 each, and moved the two new colonies to two seperate bee yards.  Both colonies did fine one built up to produce honey the other is fine as of the other day, but had some trouble due to moving from the out yard back home.  The one that built up to produce honey was not moved a second time.  The one that did not build up as well lost field bees when I brought it back.  Theoreticaly I could have made five colonies from ten frames of bees, but they would have taken forever to build up.  I think in the future when I do a cut down I will just make one colony that has a better chance of producing than splitting it in two.


Offline Finsky

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 01:50:10 PM »
1) You need 2 frames brood where are plenty of emerging bees . It means that center is emerged and larger ring is coming out. Emerged bees stay in hive and older ones return their old home.

Outer ring of emerging bees is necessary because pupas will violate when they have too few  warming bees. Nuc is better make at evening. So old bees stay in hive over night and new bees have time to emerge.

Further more nuc needs frame  of pollen and another honey.

In this choice it is difficult to give new queen. But if you wait 5 days and nuc close it's emerging queen cells, it takes new queen without harm. It is sometimes difficult to give queen to nuc.

2) Perhaps better way for beginner  is this:

Get a new queen
take 2 frames where bees are emerging and there is no larvas.
Shake all bees away from frames
Put double screen on the big hive and put the nuc on top of big hive. It gives heat to brood.
Close entrance for 3 days.
Give new queen.

When you have enough new bees in upper nuc, you move it to it's place.
If they have not enough bees, give one frame more emerging bees. Shake and brush another bees away.

So nuc starts. You may ad emerging bees so it get  good start.

3) If you have place over 3 miles nuc is easy to start.

Let nuc be there 5 days so it caps emerge queen cells. Brake them and give the new queen.  Do not take the queen from those emerge cells.

You need minimum 3 frame bees, where
1 emerging bees
1 food half full
1 pollen quart full
inner wall to resrict the room of box.

Offline Michael Bush

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2006, 08:57:30 PM »
The nuc box, of course, is just a smaller box.  A nuc is a nucleus.  So just make a nucleus.  A little of everything.  A little open brood, a little capped brood a little pollen, a little honey.  I'd prefer to give the queen to the nuc and let the hive raise one, especially if you pick a good time for the hive to be queenless (like at least as late in the year as two weeks before the main flow).  The old hive is strong and will rear a better queen than a struggling nuc.  Or if you shake a lot of extra nurse bees into the nuc then they can do a decent enough job of feeding a queen cell.
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Offline downunder

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2006, 09:07:16 AM »
Just finished making 100  (4 frame) nucleus colonies today for a research project (12 hours). Queen cells go in tommorrow morning.

The procedure we use is quite simple (in Australian conditions).

* Never attempt to split a colony that is not ready for it.

* If conditions are fantastic you can split 2-3 nuc's of a strong 3 box colony easily (If nuc colonies have time to build into strong doubles for winter).

*Find queen, cage her

*1 frame solid sealed honey

*2 frames sealed brood plus pollen with natural covering of bees (sealed brood if adding queen cells)

*plus a shake of bees

*Other frame can either be  foundation (if on a honey flow) young emerging bees will build it quickly, or a drawn frame from storage.

Lock bees up with vented entrance. If hot place bees in shade, water down if necessary.

We place them in a controlled temperature room at 20 degrees celcius until moving. I don't expect many would have this luxury.

At dusk move hives at least 2km from original site. Open hives at dark.

Place queen cells that are within a day of emergence in hives on first light. This encourages nearly all bees to stay. It also stops (in most cases) bees trying to raise their own queens (unless you want that).  

Finding a 100 queens in a day can be hard work. I cheated and found 50 yesterday and pre-caged them to make today bareable.

These nucs have entrance excluders to stop virgins flying. In seven days all the virgins have to be found and caught (very early in morning so as they don't fly). They are then gassed with CO2 for 7 minutes cwing clipped, marked and returned in cages to colonies for 24hrs.

The following day the desired drones are collected and semen is collected at 10 microlitres per queen. Depending on the type of experiment the semen is either homogenised or left as is. Rule of thumb is you need 10 perfectly mature drones (16-24 days old) to get a full semen load. So I need to have collected at least 60 decent drones per queen to get enough good ones. Drones need to be kept in a special cage so they can be seperate from the workers but still fed. Once a drone is lethargic (cold or hungry) it won't complete the full eversion successfully.

Then comes the fun bit, inseminating 100 queens. Highly impossible on your own  in one day 50 maybe (but not me). Luckily there is help for this bit. The sperm sealed in saline and kept cool can stay viable for approximately 72 hours. So you have a bit of time to get the job done.

Ahh a day in the life of bee research

Luckily the week after I'm on holidays!

Offline Finsky

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How do you make a nuc?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 09:14:58 AM »
Thanks downunder. For that many beginners have  thinking  rest of day. :shock:

I did that way last summer:

I had a hive which tried to swarm. I took queen away and I changed larvas in queen cells.

I got 15 queens in the 4 box hive. When queens were near emerging, I splitted whole hive into 2 frames nucs and I installed queen cell in each.  Then I took them over 3 mile and nucs started without problems.  There were too few workers but I got mated queens from all nucs.


And thanks to Australian researcher, which told that mated queen should be old enough when it is installed to hive. Many Finnish beekeeper have been very glad about that information.

Offline livetrappingbymatt

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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2006, 08:03:26 PM »
the lazy way!
cut board to fit hive top w/ hole the size of nuc.
place 3 frames( for 5 frame nuc) in nuc bx add 1 honey/pollen frame one
or add pollen patty w/honey frame
open comb frame.
place queen excluder over brood chamber,put on top add nuc.
nurse bees will come up and cover brood.
install nuc bottun.
next day move 1 mile away
install queen or cell.
you now have new hive of bees.

Offline Finsky

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Re: nuc's
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2006, 01:26:00 AM »
Quote from: livetrappingbymatt
install queen or cell.

Good method. So it goes. But  queen istalling is a ordinary problem.