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Adding supers to new nuc

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jbr 

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I have just installed a nuc into a national hive. There are bees on 6 frames with brood on three/four. I followed the advice in Ted Hooper's book and have added a frame on the entrance side and three frames on the other side of the nuc. The bees have been fed with sugar syrup from a contact feeder placed above the crown board.
Upon the first inspection, the bees had drawn out and filled two of the new frames with honey, presently uncapped.
What is the best way of adding more frames into the brood box to be able to fill it with frames completely? If I add more to the back of the cluster, will the bees just use this to store more honey and thereby restricting potential brood space?, or should I place the new frames in between the cluster and the honey stores? In total, I have space in the brood box to place two more undrawn frames.
Would this be a good time to add supers and place a contact feeder on top of the super box?
Hope somebody can help?
 

jon 

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If you use a super with a feeder you will get a super full of sugar syrup rather than honey. Any way, your colony is much too small for a super. I would wait a few weeks yet until the brood frames have been drawn out and the box is full of bees. If your bees are putting stores in the brood box you are overfeeding. In June you don't need to feed bees, even in a nuc unless the weather is terrible for weeks. It only encourages robbing.
 
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jbr 

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If you use a super with a feeder you will get a super full of sugar syrup rather than honey. Any way, your colony is much too small for a super. I would wait a few weeks yet until the brood frames have been drawn out and the box is full of bees. If your bees are putting stores in the brood box you are overfeeding. In June you don't need to feed bees, even in a nuc unless the weather is terrible for weeks.
Ok, thanks for that, I was just following the advice in the book and also the advice from Thornes, ie to feed the bees until they get established. Now that they have two combs of stores in the brood box, coupled with the fact that I still have room for two more frames to go in, what is the best thing to do with the frames already in there, move them to the outside perhaps? Should I will go and take off the syrup this afternoon?
 

jon 

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I would take the feeder off and just leave them alone for a few weeks until there are more bees in the box.

If I add more to the back of the cluster, will the bees just use this to store more honey and thereby restricting potential brood space
Don't confuse honey with stored syrup. 1 frame of stores, be it honey or syrup would last a nuc about a fortnight without any other income so you definitely don't wan't the colony filling up with syrup. if the bees fill the box with stores they might think about swarming due to lack of space. The other problem is, when you eventually put a super on they will move the sugar syrup from the brood box to the super to make more space for the queen to lay. This means you won't be able to sell it as it will be a mixture of honey and sugar. Even if you have no plans to sell you could end up giving your friends a jar or sugar syrup instead of honey. I would never have a feeder on when there is a super on a hive for this reason.
 

DulwichGnome 

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IMHO, follow Jon's advice and remove the feeder asap. As for the spare frames, what I would do is if they has built on the very front frame move them all back and slot a frame in there then move the stores back a frame and put one in there. What would be best is if they used the stores of suger to draw the new frames and went out to bring in nectar (bee aware, bees don't always read the books). Wait till you see them storing honey on top of the brood frames, where it should be, and there is a flow of nectar (always a tricky on to get right) and then it's time for a super.

Mike.
 

Poly Hive 

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Assuming a National with 11 frames, I super on 8 frames of brood.

Your nuc should be in the BB with one of foundation between the first wall and the nuc, then the nuc, then the rest of the space taken up with foundation.

Your stores frames can be dealt with very simply by marking them with a drawing pin, and when more stores appear, as in honey stores, you can remove the two with sugar in them and keep them for returning to the colony in the autumn.

PH
 

peteinwilts 

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I also 'was' (?) about to give my new colony some food. I picked them up on Sunday day. Obviously the day was nice and would have lost quite a few workers.

Although even the weather forecasters can never give long term reliable outlooks, Friday = rain, Saturday = heavy rain and cold, Sunday = heavy rain and colder.

They have 6 frames of foundation ready to be drawn.

Should I also not feed?

Thanks
Pete
 

Eyeman 

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A couple of useful axioms I've picked up.
To draw foundation bees need income not capital ie. if nectar not coming in then they need feeding. (also warmth)
A queen is unlikely to cross a comb she can't lay in. So don't break up the brood nest with foundation or stores.
 

jon 

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A couple of useful axioms I've picked up.
To draw foundation bees need income not capital ie. if nectar not coming in then they need feeding. .
And the other thing is, bees draw foundation as they need it. they will not draw out all the frames until there are more bees and more brood.
 

Poly Hive 

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Nothing wrong with a small feed Pete.

Just keep an eye on them.

PH
 

jon 

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Nothing wrong with a small feed Pete.

PH
As long as it's small!

I went to check on a friend's bees at the beginning of May. They were in double brood with a super on and a front feeder.
His mentor had told him to feed.
There were 11 frames of sealed syrup in the upper brood and 11 more in the super. The brood was over 10 brood frames in the lower BB.
He was reluctant to take the feeder off.
I checked them again last Monday and they had swarmed.
 

Nellie 

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Maybe he likes the taste of bee-regurgitated sugar syrup over honey?
 

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