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Beginner: Nuc to 14x12 BB advice

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SimonB 

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Hello, I'm a soon to be beginner, I will have a nuc coming in May time from Thorne. Very pleased to find a dedicated UK forum, I have already found lots of useful information.

On the beginners beekeeping course I finished recently the opinion of the two experience keepers running the course was to use deep brood bodies so this is something I was planning to do. I already have a National hive with a standard BB and have bought a 14x12 and frames.

What I am not sure on, and is my first question, is whether to try to transfer the nuc straight to the 14x12 this year when they arrive or wait a year until I have a stronger colony?

Reading here and elsewhere there appear to be mixed opinions on the best way to do the transfer. The course tutor recommended simply transferring the frames from the nuc into a standard body, fill the gaps to prevent wild comb building and put the 14x12 on top. When queen has moved up, add QX, wait 21 days, remove standard body.

Where the opinions seem mixed is whether to give the bees a full body of 14x12 foundation straight from the off, or give them a matching number of frames to the nuc, fill the gaps, then rotate drawn frames with new foundation until I can give them a full set of drawn frames. They will find this less daunting and may result in better quality comb.

I realise I am likely to get the same mixed opinions but would appreciate anyones advice, perhaps more so as to whether to attempt this now with a nuc or wait until next year.

Another question that I have never found an answer to, so perhaps not a big issue, is when removing the standard body and frames after the comb change, does this not potentially remove a significant amount of stores, or do stores only really last on frames whist they have brood? Or will the bees move the stores as they move up from the bottom BB?

One last question if I may, relating to location. I was planning to build a hive stand, several feet long to allow space for another hive for artificial swarming. I was assuming that when there is more than one hive in close proximity the hive entrances should face away from any other hive. If I position my frames in the 'cold' layout (do I have this term correct, frames are perpendicular to the entrance?) then to make manipulations easier, the entrance would then face along the length of the hive stand. If I were to introduce a second hive, with a similar layout, its entrance would face on to the back of the other hive, albeit 2-3 feet away, is this OK, or should the entrances be at 90 degrees to the long length of the hive stand? This wouldn't be a big problem, and would end up with the entrances facing south, rather than east, in the planned location I have, it would just mean I would be manipulating the frames perpendicular to me, rather than face on. I perhaps haven't explained that well, and really would appreciate advice, so if a diagram would help then please let me know.

Thanks for reading, any thoughts/advice welcome.
 

Poly Hive 

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The first thing you have to fully realise is that a NUC is a BABY.

The 2nd is you are worrying too much.Relax.

I would suggest two avenues if you are determined to go to the big box and you have nbot said why you think it is a "good thing"

firstly build up your nuc until it is over flowing in the standard national box and then add the big box as a super and as you say wait for the queen to go up and get laying insert excluder and so on.

Or you can dummy up your big box, just fill it with polystyrene blocks, and give the nuc say three frames of foundation above and take it from there. Oh and dummy them in the bottom box too.

If you want them to move stores then bruise the cappings with your hive tool.

You are worrying over much too about stands. Why not make two and face the bees any which way you want, so much simpler hmm? KISS always.

Keep it simple silly. :)

Oh and cold way warm way makes not a jot of difference. It's a chestnut that is argued over every year and is utterly meaningless with OMF floors now, but warm way has the combs parallel with the entrance and cold was at right angles to it, and if you think about it which ever you choose the combs will be perpendicular to it..LOL

PH
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
We got our nucs in May last year and ran them on standard brood, which they filled nicely over the course of the summer. This season, they are clearly busting out of the standard brood and we'll get them on 14x12 asap.

You really don't have to worry about doing this now - get experience of handling bees, then try the harder stuff. Last Sunday we had to find the queen and get her in the right place (out of the damn supers....) which was "entertaining" - but there is no way I could have done something like this last year. What is nice about a nuc is that it is manageable and you can see progress really clearly. With a big colony there are bees everywhere and it is harder to understand what is going on!

All the other stuff - the bees will be fine, they really don't care!
 

SimonB 

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Thanks for the replies, pretty much made my mind up and was leaning that way anyway - stick with standard brood this year and then think about moving them into the larger box next.

The 2nd is you are worrying too much
Yes, probably true :) I just like to go into something new as well prepared as possible and there seem to be so many options/possibilities/ways of doing something that it can be a bit daunting.

you have not said why you think it is a "good thing"
Reason given to us was that you should hopefully end up with stronger colonies, potentially more honey and better survival prospects

Why not make two and face the bees any which way you want
Common sense prevails...


Thanks
Simon
 

Poly Hive 

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I didn't say keep them in the Nat box. I suggested to build them up in there and then add the big box on top and get them up in there.

From nuc to full Nat box? 6 weeks. so July. Leaves you say half of July all of August and part of Sept to get them fully established.

And possibly a sup or two of honey. ;)


PH
 

SimonB 

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Thanks, yes I realised that, it was the way you said 'if you are determined to' which implied this wouldn't be the ideal thing to do, but thinking about it again, it seems to make alot of sense to do it now.

When I dummy out the boxes, can I just fill the entire empty space, no bee space top, bottom or box edge sides, or should I ideally try to make what would essentially be oversize frames?

Thanks
Simon
 

Poly Hive 

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Simon?

Find a builders skip and look for insulation or go to Sheffield Insulation and ask for broken sheets.

Fill the space top to bottom. That is the point of dummying up, to fill the space to save the bees the effort of heating it.

PH
 

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