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pstafford 

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I have read mixed views on feeding a nuc that has just been hived.

I have my bees in their new hive (along with 6 frames of brood and stores) and have fed them with an Ashforth feeder and a 2:1 syrup this week.

As they have 5 frames of foundation to draw out I wonder how long would you feed them for ?
 

Mike a 

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If you continue to feed them and they take it check to make sure they dont become honey bound by storing it in brood nest area so the queen can't lay which sets the colony back weeks before it can build up again.

Small amounts each time.

Edit
**Should of said - If you need to feed them then only small amounts each time**
 
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Poly Hive 

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Personally I only feed at 2:1 for winter.

Summer time I use 1:1

With the amount of food they already have do they need feeding? Or would some warm weather do instead?

I would let them take what you have given them and then assess. If they are storing it there is a risk they are going to restrict their growth through lack of room.

Ensure there is foundation on either side of the brood. So if there is a pollen comb then brood put foundation between. same other side so as to encourage them to work it.

PH
 

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Feeding does not help the nuc. It just fills valuable brood cells with sugar.
It is summer now and they get food from nature.
 

oliver90owner 

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I' m with the three posters above (posts #2, 3 & 4).

I would hope they do not have all those 5 frames to draw at the present time. A dummy or divider would be good to keep the used part of the nest as warm as possible, expanding as they progress.

Regards, RAB
 

m100 

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Feeding does not help the nuc. It just fills valuable brood cells with sugar.
It is summer now and they get food from nature.
It might be summer in Finland, but it's autumn in the UK despite it being early June.
 

pstafford 

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Thanks for your comments. Feeder will come off on Saturday during the first inspection.

Ironically I was told to feed them when I took the nuc. Like you say, it is probably not the syrup they need but some sunshine (don't we all want that in the summer).

Fingers crossed for a warm, dry weekend :)
 

mbc 

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I live in west wales and often our honey flows are intermitent at best - bees need a steady/continuous flow to properly draw out foundation. For this reason I like to feed nucs but with a contact feeder rather than a rapid/ashforth type feeder. I always feed 2;1 syrup any season simply to avoid humping twice as much juice around
 

MuswellMetro 

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Thanks for your comments. Feeder will come off on Saturday during the first inspection.

Ironically I was told to feed them when I took the nuc. Like you say, it is probably not the syrup they need but some sunshine (don't we all want that in the summer).

Fingers crossed for a warm, dry weekend :)
check for QC and any play cups for grubs, if the queen is short of laying space they can start QC,
 

match 

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Just to add my tuppence - it can be worth feeding a nuc if its one that you've made by artificial swarming from a main hive - in this situation the nuc will have very few flying bees in it and thus won't be bringing in stores. All of the above rules still apply though (lots of small feedings, check they're not clogging up the brood area etc).

Ideally though you should of course have put some frames of stores into the nuc when you were making it up, frames with pollen in to help build the new colony up when the new queen starts laying.
 

Finman 

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beginners do not understand how to handle the small colony. It is not a pigg which becoma fat when you feed it.

Nuc and sawrm or package colony are different.
Nuc has brood which emerge all the time.

Swarm and package takes over 4 weeks before it start to grow.

Beginners are mad to feed bees and older beepeekeepers encourage them to do mad things.

Many think that new drawn combs are the secret of colony build up but it is area of brood.

Bees keep 36C temp in the hive and they cannot keep brood area warm more than they can. That is difficult to understand even experienced beekeepers.

Mostly folks say that sun warm up the hive. That is nonsence. It is bees who make it. In rainy days and at night sun does not shine.

************

I did not knew that in Uk Autumn arrives directly after spring. If it is so, continue your feeding. Sorry!

**************

5-6 occupied frames is a difficult limit to the colony to raise up.

When I had at the beginning of April 2-box hives and 5 frame hives, 2-box hives are now with 4-6 boxes and 5-frames have only one box.

Two boxe hives has honey too soon to be extracted. It says that if you have too small start, it cannot forage surplussa. And then if you are in a hurry to split a good hive, you push it under good developing limit.

In one stage 2-3 weeks ago I joined 5 frame colonies and now they are 2 box hives.


.
 
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Finman 

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I live here in cold Finland but I do not have feeded any hives during one month. They have got this year food from nature.

As long as they have food stores, they are alive. It is no help to feed them and encourage- to what?

If weathers are good, hives are too full of pollen and nectar and it reduces space for brood..

Raspberry started just to bloom here.
 

pstafford 

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Thanks Finman.

I think it worth waiting to see what happens tomorrow when I open the hive for the first time. I should get a fair idea on how they are doing and also the amount of space that has been taken up with stores.

For now, I think it is a case of watch this space...
 

Mike a 

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Finman has touched on some thing which is important to pass onto new bee keepers.

The idea of feeding sugar is to give the colony some stores to work with, its bad practice to feed them if they dont need it.

During an inspection you should always note how much pollen and nectar is stored and only feed if these stores are low to stop the colony from starving.

Encouraging a colony to draw out frames by feeding is not ideal if they are in a nuc and already have plenty of stores. It takes time for the colony to grow so be patient, once they are covering 4 frames then transfer them into a bigger hive and give them time to expand slowly by using a dummy board and only add one or two new frames at a time.

If there isn't enough bees to keep the brood nest area warm they will struggle to expand and worse still if they have been over fed and they have stored it in the brood nest area the queen can not lay as many eggs which chokes the colony expansion rate.

Let the bees do the work and they will expand at their own rate.
 

Finman 

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Only way to rapid expansion is to give a frame of emergin brood from the big hive. but if the nuc is too small , half of brood may catch cold and die.
 

susbees 

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We've had four days of stormy stuff...not exactly autumn, better from tomorrow again. The bees have sulked...they have been drinking rain drops by the hives.

Meanwhile outside the door we have a big patch of flowering comfrey which has been covered in bumble bees of at least three types from 05.30-22.00 in all but the heaviest rain ALL WEEK. Likewise the wretched wasps hogging the big cotoneasters. What's with honey bees?!

Maybe we should revisit the Finn and his bumble bee honey??? ;)
 

Finman 

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So, in spring we had autumn too. Many rainy days. Famous English humour. Am I so old?
 
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mbc 

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Maybe in finlands almost endless midsummer days nucs wont need feeding to draw out foundation but in my patch nucs who have reached the limit of drawn comb for their brood nest will definately expand quicker if given a continuous supply of carbohydrate to turn into wax to draw their foundation out and then maybe they'll turn july's promised nectar flow into supers full of honey
 

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