New Nuc & expansion

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irobson 

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Hi

Bit new to this..but won't use the pun...

Put a new Nuc into my beehaus on 7th of May..wonderfully timed...when it all started to get a bit cold and windy.

So far they have only expanded onto the inside of the first 12*14 brood frame and started to fill out the outside with comb.

Per Omlet, I have been feeding syrup since day one and they have consumed about half a bag to date. There appears to be more bees now, plenty of brood, eggs and larve on the nuc frames and some stores, with drone cells on the bottom. They are active and very docile. The queen is there (or was last Saturday on the weekly inspection) and laying quite happily..so it seems

I was expecting a much faster expansion though...on the surface things seem fine...but is there anything else I should be doing to encourage expansion..or is it simply weather related and my expectations are misaligned with reality?

An aside...There was a queen cup (empty) present on Saturday..which my more experienced ( though not recent) partner in crime told me to remove. There is plenty of space ( 4 untouched 12*14 brood frames) ..though no supers on yet...could the foundation on these frames now be undesireable in some way (old... been there since May 7th)..hence the cup as the nuc frames are now full..so should I be on alert for a swarm..and do something proactive?


Thanks

Ian
 

irobson 

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Must have said something wrong...anyone civil out there?
 

VEG 

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They wont increase in size until there are enough bees to cover the new brood to keep them warm.
 

m100 

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How many frames on the nuc and how much brood when installed?

How much is 'half a bag of syrup' ? it doesn't sound a lot in nearly two months

What strength syrup?

How many frames with brood now?

How many frames with stores?

Can you see brood in all stages?

What is the percentage relationship between eggs, unsealed brood and sealed brood?

Is there just worker brood or is there a lot of drone brood?

On average what percentage of the frames are covered in live bees during your inspection?

How many frames have you fitted in the hive?

Are you using a dummy board and a divider board to reduce hive volume?

Where are the frames with foundation relative to the frames with bees, relative to the entrance?

If they have only expanded onto one additional frame in that time then there is something seriously wrong with them, location, nutrition, the queen, disease .....outgassing of chemicals from the plastic :rolleyes:
 

oliver90owner 

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Must have said something wrong...anyone civil out there?

Never saw it previously (probably just couldn't load it!).

they have only expanded onto the inside of the first 12*14 brood frame

Was this a standard National 5 frame nuc on deeps? I suspect they have built wild comb on all five original deeps? Did you dummy the frames? Do the deeps have 14 x 12 converters on them?

Per Omlet, I have been feeding syrup since day one and they have consumed about half a bag to date.

Typical instructions, open ended and rubbish IMO. Half a bag? Is that a 25kg bag? I cannot imagine they have only consumed half a kilo in that time!

anything else I should be doing to encourage expansion

Depends on your answers to some of the Q's above. 'Have done' is likely more approriate than 'be doing'. They will probably take off now there is a decent flow returning in many areas (not sure what the weather and forage is like in Repton).

though no supers on yet...could the foundation on these frames now be undesireable in some way

Ahh, no supers - good. It (brood foundation) won't be as fresh as if you had added it in stages but should be OK. You could remove them and just warm a little with a hair drier to get rid of the stale surface. Sounds like bum instructions to me ( I never had a copy of those and would have pointed out their shortcomings to omlette long ago, if I had. But 'Hey Ho', just pick up the pieces later!

the cup

Means little while only a cup.

OK, so we don't know how good, or otherwise, your nuc was in the first place - could have been an imported queen with little of her own brood, if any, thrown together on the day of despatch or collection - who knows! Weather was not so clever in May and there could have been a 'June gap' with little forage for them. That lot and possible miss-management of the colony (I would like to see their 'instructions') have likely combined to produce a very steady start.

BTW no need to hunt the queen at inspections - eggs means she was there in the last three days and your drone cells are an utter waste of laying space for a colony that needs extra workers to bolster the colony - not non-workers using valuable resources in the brood and adult stages, with absolutely no useful return for the small expanding colony.

Sorry, but quite a bit to mull over. Welcome to the forum. I would suggest this is far more useful than their one.

Regards, RAB
 

kighill 

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Forever more.
Hello Ian,

Welcome to the Forum.

The best way to learn how to manage your bees is to get your head into as many hives as you can and see what is happening.

I currently have about twenty hives at home and usually have one or two unusual things occuring in them on each inspection.

I am currently feeding an artificial swarm at home so can show you how I do it.

You are welcome to visit my Apiary and have a look through the hives.

Checking your location you are about 37 miles away. I will be going into the bees on Saturday at 10am. Just let me know if you would like to join me. (WEATHER PERMITTING)

I will pm my phone numbers.

All the best.
 

irobson 

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Thanks

Wow what a response!

Many thanks to you all.

Since I wrote the original post we have been blessed with fine weather in the east midlands, and I have discovered a) what a Lime tree is and b) that Repton has many of them.

The colony has expanded now quite rapidly- there are many more bees and they are active on 6 additional 12*14 brood frames, so maybe as suggested the original nuc was small or not really established

I have left the original 5 standards in the back of the hive but have boxed off the bottom of the first 4..allowing comb to be built under the 5th one so we can remove it later as part of varroa control. I was intending to remove and replace these frames with additional 12*14s..however the bees do not seem to want to move and the frames are still full of brood and have plenty of eggs. ..so I will leave things lie for now..unless someone advises otherwise.

I guess we may have had a few too many frames in to start with, but they were all divided and dummied off and the weather played its part. The bag of syrup was a premixed 2.5 kg plastic bag,..in 8 weeks they have only taken about 1 kilo,so no too sure what is going on there..but I expect they are taking the natural stuff at present.

I'll probably put a super on next week with a QE...but not now expecting any crop this year..just let the colony develop for next year. Glad Q cup presence means nothing..there is plenty of them but no larve seen in them ..yet.

cheers

Ian
 

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