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Author Topic: Playing around making NUCS  (Read 997 times)
BMAC
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Location: Upstate NY Schoharie county


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« on: July 14, 2006, 11:18:17 AM »

So as a new beekeeper I made two 5 frame NUC boxes this summer.  After getting them painted I just tossed them into my garage not sure what to do with them right now.  Well the honey flow has not been spectacular this season here and I have 6 splits from this spring from some hives I bought with 3 of them still with out supers on them as they have not completely drawn all the deep frames out yet.  One of those three is doing really really bad to I thought to myself why not split that sucker and make 2 5 frame NUCS out of it.

So many choices and such little time...  So I decided to atleast take a look at all three before I decide what to do.  I started in the first box which I thought was doing pretty good and start finding many of my drones with wing damage (suspect Varroa mites).  I decided I am going to attempt to treat my hives for varroa by using SBB and drone comb.  So I run back home and grab all my drone comb.  As I am putting in the drone comb I am taking out a frame of brood here and a frame of honey and pollen there for my NUCS.  Well I run across one of my hives with 6 swarm cells on it 1 capped the others just filled with Royal Jelly.  I pull that frame and put it in a NUC to finish it and let them raise their own queen.  Meantime I placed three undrawn frames in that hive in an attempt to keep them from swarming.  

I go back to my original weak hive and notice the queen is the real problem.  She has 3 completely empty drawn frames in the brood chamber and 1 capped supercedure cell on 1 frame.  I find her and put her in my second 5 frame NUC.  

I did this late last week.  I decided to give them a full 10 days prior to checking either one.  I am hoping the queens hatch without issue and mate.  I am also hoping the second will build a new supercedure cell to requeen itself.  We shall see I suppose.
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BMAC
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 06:39:11 PM »

Well I visited one of the NUC today.  I just couldn't resist.  They rejected the original swarm cells and created an emergency queen cell.  The also half drew out one side of the foundation I put in it.  I guess I have about another 18 days to find out whether I have a new laying queen or dud.
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BMAC
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2006, 10:21:38 PM »

Well I checked one of my NUCs tonight and the queen has hatched.  She is looking good running aorund in the hive, but is still a virgin.  I guess I will check back in about two weeks to see if she has mated or to see if I will pry her little head off and requeen.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2006, 12:02:52 AM »

It sounds to me like you're tinkering overly much and not letting the bees be bees.   The nonpreforming queen should be killed as well as any supercedure cells that orginated from her.  Mediocrity begats more mediocrity when it comes to queens.  It would have been much better to get your supercedure cells from a hive that has a queen with better brood raising characteristics.

You're objective at this point is to focus on getting each hive (nuc) into shapre to winter over--even if it means combing 2 or more into one hive.  In combining, always select the queen with the best brood pattern and largest size brood nest.

Curb your impulses and concentrate on developing good quality of bees over quantity of hives.
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