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Author Topic: Looking Ahead: Aggressive Late Spring Splits For Nucs Question  (Read 3219 times)
DCHoneybees
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« on: January 27, 2011, 05:44:47 PM »

I am a DC-based beekeeper.  I have arranged with several folks for whom I have assisted in putting hives on their property an arrangement where I give them ongoing assistance with their new hobby in exchange for a split of bees in early June.  With those bees I can either propagate an additional colony for my own apiary or create one or more 5-frame (deep) nucs.

Two questions:
How developed does the nuc have to be with brood and bees to be considered marketable (pricing right now in our area for spring 5-frame nucs is north of $125 but it unclear what that gets one)?

To maximize the split, if you wanted to start each nuc with a laying queen and only two frames of brood and bees, how would you fit out the other three frames of space (ie. honey frame, feeder, empty frame, etc.) to maximize growth for some marketable early summer nucs for sale?

Thanks.
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Countryboy
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 09:26:55 PM »

5 frames nucs should be 2 frames of brood, 2 frames of honey, and one frame of empty comb.  There should be a good population of bees.

To maximize the split, if you wanted to start each nuc with a laying queen and only two frames of brood and bees, how would you fit out the other three frames of space (ie. honey frame, feeder, empty frame, etc.) to maximize growth for some marketable early summer nucs for sale?

I don't understand.  A June nuc is an early summer nuc.  There is no time for growth because you are already there.  Either it's in marketable condition or you have a nuc that you should be able to overwinter as a single.

You will not have a feeder in the nuc when you sell it.  When making the nuc and introducing a mated queen, some folks put a frame feeder in to help insure acceptance.  When they pull the feeder they put in a frame of empty comb and the nuc is ready to be sold.
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DCHoneybees
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 09:46:42 PM »

Good point about early summer nuc and I wasn't clear.  I f I want to sell that nuc July 1, so 30 days later, what can I do to make it marketable, but I think you answered my question, 2, 2 and a frame of comb.  I  suggested the feeder (during the 30-day buildup) as a way of encouraging additional brood rearing.  That last frame of comb is the rub, however, for those of us with limited apiary resources.  Do you have a suggestion for that last frame if a fully drawn comb is scarce?  Or should I let them draw that comb out during the June 1-July 1 timeframe?
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standman
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2011, 01:03:51 PM »

Feeding 1/1 should promote wax production by your house bees. I would make the fifth frame foundation (or foundationless) to give them a place to work. In those thirty days, they should be able to draw it out and begin using it.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 12:04:51 PM »

DC, do you have any hives that you are not planning to split?  Maybe you could pull a frame of comb from them and let them build up the new foundation.
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DCHoneybees
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 04:49:56 PM »

Yes, thanks Alicia.  Growing my apiary to at least 7 hives that will be static so should have decent resources by July for new comb.  I also will pull some out of the hives I am splitting.  Just have to feed, feed, feed.

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