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Author Topic: Installing a Nuc (read first)  (Read 3938 times)
asleitch
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« on: June 11, 2004, 03:54:30 PM »

I'm a new beekeeper this season, and have been given one hive by a friend, and I've been taking evening classes with my local club. The club apiary has about 6-10 hives, and we are divided up into about 4 groups, complete beginners, novice, intermediate and advanced. Each group has a teacher. The teacher for the complete beginners (where I am) is the regional bee-inspector, and really knows his stuff, and the latest official tecniques for control of varroa, EFB etc. At a recent apiary meeting, his partner mentioned she had some Nuc's for sale, at £35 thats about $65. "Who better?" thought I, to buy from, as they a going to be in A1 condition.

Anyway, I injured my back recently (ruptured disc), and I am unable to lift or do much at all. Very kindly, they agreed to bring the nuc down and install it for me, without me having to lift a finger. Given it's their day off, and they had to drive down to me (about 1 hour away) it was extremely kind.

They arrived mid-morning, and put on clean outfits, disposiable gloves, and scrubbed all their hive tools with water/washing soda. This is to ensure no disease is carried from one apiary to the next. (He inspects hundreds per week). Heavens knows what their laundary bill must be  shocked

In this picture, you can see three hives, the closest it empty, just storing empty supers with foundation, the middle hive (in bits) is the one we are about to use, and the hive at the end is active. The "Nuc box" can be seen on the stand, with a yellow strap thats just been released.


click on image for larger view

They've set up a brood box (a "National" the most common british size in the UK, although we have many other designs, WBC, Commercial, Smith, Langstroth - all pretty similar). A few frames of foundation have already been installed, the "nuc" has been brought over and opened, and now time to transfer the frames over.


click on image for larger view

Checking for the queen as they go, unfortunately not seen on this occasion.


click on image for larger view

Bit of a gap in the photos here, but they added a 5pint feeder of strong suger syrup to assist in drawing the comb. The floor is open-mesh for varroa control.


click on image for larger view

Because they added the feeder during the day, some of the syrup ran through the hive and through the floor, to minimise robbing, we needed to put and enterance block in. Unfortunately the only one I had was too big. However, being the bee-inspector, he had a car full of tools and a little saw in and amongst, so we popped it on. They then washed any remaining sugersyrup off the floor.


click on image for larger view

All finished, a quick spray of water to ensure no traces of suger syrup on the hive. You can see the empty "nuc" box at the front of the picture.


click on image for larger view

The bees were looking a bit distressed after the journey, but thousands took to the air as soon as the box was opened so it can't be too bad! I've been amazed by how people have rallied around to help me with the tasks I can't manage.

Adam

PS: If anyone wishes to use the pictures for any non-commercial use, feel free, I grant you permission. Also, you are welcome to use the text elsewhere on your website if you wish Mr Beemaster!
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 05:10:54 PM »

Great collection of images and text - very detailed - thanks Smiley Looking at part two now!!!!

Glad to see this section being used, there is a lot to learn from seeing how everyone starts, maintains and modifies hives and colonies throughout the seasons. Great work!
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Lesli
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 07:45:49 AM »

Since I'll be installing two nucs, and the books only describe package installations, I have a couple of questions about the installation.

I can understand that you move over the frames with the brood, bees, and (one hopes) the queen. But there must be bees left in the nuc--surely that aren't all on the frames. Do you leave the nuc in front of the hive for a bit, and hope that move to their new home?

How was the nuc "sealed" for shipping? Mine are being mailed, and I'm curious.

Thanks.
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asleitch
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 09:26:56 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
I can understand that you move over the frames with the brood, bees, and (one hopes) the queen. But there must be bees left in the nuc--surely that aren't all on the frames. Do you leave the nuc in front of the hive for a bit, and hope that move to their new home?.


I just tipped it upside down and emptied them in like you would pour rice into a pan (thats the best way I can think of to describe it!). I put a couple of sticks up from the grass for any that fell out the sides. The queen is most likely to be on one of the frames. They just gently smoked the top before lifting them out.

Quote from: Lesli
How was the nuc "sealed" for shipping? Mine are being mailed, and I'm curious.

Thanks.


Mine were brought down in a car, direct from their previous apiary. So weren't wrapped as much as a "shipped" package would be.
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Lesli
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 09:42:11 AM »

Thanks! That helps.
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