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emilyp 

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I've acquired a 5 frame BS nuc with brood on 3 frames and drawn comb/stores on all 5. Is there still time to build it up to over-winter in a BS brood box?

thanks, em
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
can't see why not, but it will depend on whether it's a new queen, how prolific she is, how strong the nuc is now, what the surrounding forage is producing in the forthcoming weeks.....

is this your only colony, or could you boost it with a frame of sealed brood from another?
 

Polyanwood 

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Probably they will make it, depending on what the winter is like, and how well you watch them to make sure they don't starve, and what their varroa load is. The second 2 are under your control. Also strongly recommend that you make their life easier so that they only have to heat the minimum amount of air possible. Don't put them in a full hive unless forced to. If they have to go into a hive use dummy boards. A poly hive or poly nuc is really good for very small colonies.
 

emilyp 

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Wow! that was quick, thanks.

I can't add sealed brood from another hive and I will use dummy boards if it looks like they need it come the winter.

em
 

Polyanwood 

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They will definitely need dummy boards if you have to put them in a hive. They will also need feeding in autumn and in Winter good to put a block of fondant on as insurance.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
Wow! that was quick, thanks.

I can't add sealed brood from another hive and I will use dummy boards if it looks like they need it come the winter.

em
you should use dummy boards straight away, really em.

place the nuc frames against one side of the BB add a frame of foundation on the end, then the dummy board, then as the bees draw the new frame out add another between the drawn one and the dummy, till they have filled the box, that way they are not heating excess un-needed "space"
 

Firegazer 

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I can't quite believe this "less air to keep warm" argument; that would only work if the dummy board formed a completely air-tight barrier from the top (crown board) down the sides of the brood box. It could be open at the bottom but, unless there were no gaps anyway else, the air would simply convect around and the bees would still end up heating the same air volume as if it weren't there.

I think the advantage of a dummy board is to keep the majority of bees from spreading themselves too thinly across multiple frames of foundation; we want them to finish one frame to a state ready for laying, rather than 3 frames a little bit, none of which the queen can yet use.

Surely, this must be right?

FG
 

MuswellMetro 

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you should use dummy boards straight away, really em.

place the nuc frames against one side of the BB add a frame of foundation on the end, then the dummy board, then as the bees draw the new frame out add another between the drawn one and the dummy, till they have filled the box, that way they are not heating excess un-needed "space"
insulate under the roof as well, doesn't matter so much with the sides,

They have to spend energy heating the brood to 35c, so cover the crown board feeding/porter escapes...i never leave mine open unless it about 30c ,

Then insulate with 3" or 4" of polystrene in a super above the crown board or above a flat 2ltre feeder if feeding..though i prefer frame feeders for Nucs in new hives...and watch for honey block in the brood
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
I can't quite believe this "less air to keep warm" argument; that would only work if the dummy board formed a completely air-tight barrier from the top (crown board) down the sides of the brood box. It could be open at the bottom but, unless there were no gaps anyway else, the air would simply convect around and the bees would still end up heating the same air volume as if it weren't there.

I think the advantage of a dummy board is to keep the majority of bees from spreading themselves too thinly across multiple frames of foundation; we want them to finish one frame to a state ready for laying, rather than 3 frames a little bit, none of which the queen can yet use.

Surely, this must be right?

FG
I hate it when someone says in a few words what i've tried to get across and made a complete balls of.....

yep :iagree: DB's help keep the bees concentrated together rather than spread across several undrawn / unused frames

smartass!
 

Polyanwood 

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I think you should think about it Firegazer as you think about your clothes. Air does move through them, but less than if you didn't have them on - same with dummy board, less air movement makes bees less stressed and use less energy regulating the temperature of the colony.

Now I'm thinking this example is a bit improper.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
I think you should think about it Firegazer as you think about your clothes. Air does move through them, but less than if you didn't have them on - same with dummy board, less air movement makes bees less stressed and use less energy regulating the temperature of the colony.

Now I'm thinking this example is a bit improper.
good job it wasn't "thenakedbeekeeper" who'd posted it.....
 

Firegazer 

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Polyanwood,
I don't think the analogy works.

Clothes keep me warmer (when the outside is colder than 36 C) because they slow down the heat transfer from my skin to the outside world - they slow conduction, prevent radiative cooling, and pretty much stop convection too, as you pointed out. But, the outside world just keeps taking the heat forever. This isn't the case in the hive.

In the hive the air space is heated up, by convection, from the top down to the level of the bottom of the cluster. A dummy board with a few mms of space around in might as well not be there as far as stopping this. Insulating above the crown board is important because the air just under it is at the highest temperature and normally just bleeds heat out through conduction.

FG

(frustrated Physicist who hasn't done any proper physics since University, 25 years ago, and now takes it out on his children and anyone on forums that mentions heat or anything to do with thermodynamics)

:)
 
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Polyanwood 

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Yes dummy board reduces amount of air to heat like clothes and insulation is fabulous too, like a tent.
 

Geoff 

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Many would recommend feeding with syrup to make their life easier. If there is a good honey flow on I find some bees wont bother with it and prefer to go and get the real stuff. But feeding means that they can be gathering food even if the weather keeps them indoors.
You can put a round feeder under the roof in a nuc box.
Watch them though - when you have about 2 frames of sealed brood the colony just seems to explode as all the new bees emerge.
Last year I had very small cast turn up in the garden end of June. There was an unmated queen, who then got mated and started laying. I reckon there were about 100 bees - Pathetic really and I had no colony I could strengthen them with. However once they got past the two frames of sealed brood it was obvious they needed a bigger house soon. By the end of summer they have drawn out and packed a Commercial brood box with lots of bees and plenty of stores and what a summer last year was. They overwintered well and have been shovelling in the nectar. So apart from the hive they were free... squatters and I will be selling their lovely honey soon.
Only downside...they were lovely when they came. I remember I used to watch them from my hammock as they flew over and went in the hive about 4 feet away. As they became more they were less neighbourly. They now live on a farm ..This week we will have a disagreement as I go to collect a bit more rent. They usually object quite vigorously and know exactly how to get in a bee suit. Anyone know where I can buy a Kevlar bee suit? Last week they got me through a bee suit and a shirt (must have long stings). I got nailed on the tummy and under the arm pit. The one on the tummy made my eyes water.
So you should be able to make a good colony by autumn.
Firegazer - so do you think we should use hives that are insulated? ie. poly hives? I notice you are on Langstroths that are easy to get in poly as hives and nucs. Lot cheaper as well. You can get a poly Langstroth nuc hive for £29 and a full size hive with supers for £84.
 
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MuswellMetro 

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Polyanwood,

(frustrated Physicist who hasn't done any proper physics since University, 25 years ago, and now takes it out on his children and anyone on forums that mentions heat or anything to do with thermodynamics)

:)

Same ,except for me its 42 years...i went to imperial read solar physics ( pass degree..found more intersting things to do) at same time as Piers Corbyn renagade weather forecaster....and have affinity to his views on global warming
 

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