Quantcast

Failing Nuc? Advice appreciated

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

keithgrimes 

Field Bee
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
615
Reaction score
0
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
On July 6 I moved a QC and two frames of bees from a swarm donor colony in to a five frame nuc, with three frames of foundation. I didn't feed. On July 12 the queen had hatched and was seen. Inspected yesterday (in evening to avoid possible mating flight) and found -
No queen seen. About half a frame of foundation drawn out. No stores to speak of, just bits and pieces. No eggs,larvae. One of the frames of foundation has had a hole bitten through it. About 15% of the area. I know it can take a while for the queen to mate and I think the hole in the foundation may be because they are starving? My brain is at a loss but my gut tells me to feed and wait two weeks. Nuc is OMF and there has been plenty of to-ing and fro-ing ever since I placed the QC in the nuc. Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,393
Reaction score
1
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
A test frame if you cant wait a week ?
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
26
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Not sure, but here goes. 2 frames in a 5 frame nuc is worse than a 5 frame nuc straight into a full brood box. Flying bees would have gone home (back to the donor colony)?

Not sure what a swarm donor colony is/was? Eggs, larvae? Perhaps not?

No feed. No wonder they are hungry. Flying bees back to their old colony, these bees left with a queen cell and not much else apart from 3 empty and undrawn frames of foundation?

A feed and some (eventually a lot of) hatching brood ( no open brood!) would be good for them but may not help at this time of the year if it is queenless or she is a complete failure.

I might just be inclined to say re-unite the bees and hope for better things next year, but there is a chance they can be dragged round and make a colony for the winter. But not without some serious help, I think.

Sorry if it sounds bad, but that is my take on it.

Regards, RAB
 

beebreeder 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
787
Reaction score
0
Location
Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots
Be careful feeding do it late evening and close the entrance down to a defendable size, as if the colony is weak and q/less it may get robbed out, and if it is q/less then its a waste of time anyway
 

keithgrimes 

Field Bee
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
615
Reaction score
0
Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Thanks Rab. I think you're right. Its not looking good for the near future. I'm thinking feed for two weeks, then if no good re-unite. I didn't feed because I asked two beekeepers for advice. One said feed, the other said don't feed :))))). I decided not to feed as I reckoned there was enough natural feed around. A mistake in restrospect I think.
 

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
Hi Rab whats so bad about putting a 5 frame nuc into a full brood? I have read more than a few books had advice from loads of beeks and lots of on line research their is so much different advice that that exactly what I did. Don't no if you have read my post on not drawing out come admin advised using a dummy board seems so obvious now. But allot of the advise I have been given says to put into full brood either in the middle of foundation or to one side of the brood box with foundation filling the rest. Their is so much advise to be had from different sources that it gets confusing especially for new-bees and allot of the advice seems to be rubbish. Present company excepted
 
Last edited:

beebreeder 

Field Bee
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
787
Reaction score
0
Location
Wilts
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Lots
Johnandyrob, hope admin does'nt take this to heart but there is still a good place for a well respected reference book when starting out in beekeeping, it gives a good grounding and a system to follow. The forum gets advice given to all from all and as we know there is always more than one way of doing a lot of things in beekeeping. This nuc sounds like it started out wrong and has just got worse unless when it was made up it was moved to another site, it would then have kept its flying bees but as RAB says it needed emerging brood to boost its numbers and nurse bees to attend to the queen.
 

RosieMc 

House Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
228
Reaction score
0
Location
Preston uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
3
Similar problem here. I have a 5 frame nuc from a swarm with Q in mid June. Q will only lay on one old foundation. Some capped brood with Very few lavae in waiting. I have been feeding sugar syrup 50/50 continually as they are taking as much as I give them. Hardly any foraging for pollen. I can only presume that as you live in Northumberland the weather there is as bad as it is here in Lancashire- majority of days cold and wet. I too have a small hole in new foundation.

I think my bees think its winter
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
26
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
johnandyrob,

Thankyou for asking but I posted nothing other than a comparison of the two arrangements, or did I? I think not. Your assessment might be different than mine.

5 frame nuc into, say 11 frame box: increase of 120% space (approx)

2 frames into 5 frame nuc: increase of 150% (approx)
The truth (taking into account outermost bee spaces might be worse than those rough figures show.

No mention of different site and with only 2 colonies I assumed (rightly or wrongly) the same site was used. Apologies if the guess was wrong.

Now, 5 frame nuc = 5 frame nuc in a full box on the same position?

But 2 frames of bees might be a lot less than that after the first day (poster did say moved, so I assumed (correctly, I think) that the nuc box was not positioned on the original hive location.

Therefore my comments were of a comparitive nature. Now what else did you want to know?

There is little else one can do other than put a 5 frame nuc into a full sized brood box is there? Well some of us have 6 frame nucs but very few have boxes sized between the 5 framed nuc and the full box.

Now lets look at a larger example, a 5 five frame standard deep National nuc into a 12 frame 14 x 12 (jumbo) box.

Just for a real extreme, imagine parking your nuc in the middle of the Albert Hall!
make a plot of 'size of container' versus 'suitability for the bees'

Let's just interpolate between those extremes for an appraisal of what is best for the bees.

I am sure you will get the drift that too much extra space is not good for the colony, or the converse that 'less extra space' is better. Simple enough? Still with me?

Therefore it is safe to assume that a nuc in a full box of foundation is not as good a situation as a nuc with an extra frame each side of the brood nest and no more. That is why many use a dummy (but I use a dividing board).

If your experience is different than that please let us know.

Regards, RAB
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,393
Reaction score
1
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
as RAB says it needed emerging brood to boost its numbers and nurse bees to attend to the queen.
Thats why I said a test frame,if there is a queen problem they will make another but will also be able to boost the bee numbers.

It sounds like without a frame of eggs/brood being offered there will not be enough nurse bees.
 

johnandyrob 

Field Bee
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
849
Reaction score
0
Location
Co. Durham
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
18
Thanks Rab and sorry keith I seem to have hijacked your post Regards Andrew
 

Latest posts

Top