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Nuc in 5 days...

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pstafford 

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As a beekeeping newbie, I have attended the beginners course over the winter, built my hive and ordered a nuc of bees.

Now the nerves have set in as I count down 5 days until I can go and collect my first nuc.

I thought I would ask for some tips on what to do beforehand and on the day…
 

darrenperrett 

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Hi pstafford.

I was really excited when i got the call to pick my first bees up and i`m sure everyone else does. :)

Get your hive stand ready, level and facing the right direction so you can pop the nuc down as soon as you get back.

Get some sugar in ready to make up some syrup for them when you transfer them to your hive.

Have a few frames made up ready, before you need them, and a couple of dummy boards to hand.

Pop nuc down, unplug entrance, pour glass of wine and be prepared to spend all summer just watching them.

Welcome to beekeeping :cheers2:

Darren.
 
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When the nuc arrives place it on the site where the hive is going to be for a good 24 hours, longer if the weather is bad as the flying bees need to get orientated to the new site.

When you come to do the transfer move the nuc to one side, put the new hive in its place and then simply transfer across the frames one at a time ensuring they stay in the same order. Have the nuc as close to the hive as possible so in the unfortunate event of the queen dropping off a frame she won't be lost. I wouldn't waste time looking for the queen on each frame, no matter how tempting, just make the transfer as quick and smooth as possible. Turn the nuc upside down at the end and give it a bang to dislodge the last bees into the hive, although if there is a lot of rubbish or dead bees in the bottom of the nuc then brush the bees and not the rubbish into the hive. I would then add a couple of frames of foundation and a dummy board. I would also then give them some feed as you probably won't know if there is a flow on and June can be a lean time in some parts of the country.
 

pstafford 

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Thanks people :)

I did see some people place the frames in the centre of the hive with frames of foundation either side and some to one side of the hive. Is this a preference done on the location in the UK or just a personal thing ?
 

Friar Tuck 

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Having just got my new hive i did exactly what rooftops suggested, :cheers2: All went very well, i did manage to see the queen and all the frames were popped in in order, I put the 5 frame Nuc in the middle and added new frames either side and put 2 dummy boards at the front, dont know if this was correct but one dummy board seemed very thin? so i added two :confused: checked the hive daily (unopened) the bee are working like mad in and out like no ones business with sacs full of pollen. Contact feeder in happy days. :hurray:
 

Roy S 

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I normally place the frames from a nuc towards one side of the brood box, they will then expand across the new frames in one direction only, normally quicker in my experience, than expanding in both directions if the nuc frames were in the middle of the brood box.
The other thing is that as they expand across the brood box they will tend to use the outermost frames for stores, if this is the case it allows you to remove the older combs on one side and replace with new foundation on the other without affecting the brood in the middle of the brood area, if that makes any sense?(I'm not making much sense today my wife tells me!....one of those days!)
 

bet 

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I have have just transfered my nuc into the brood box at one side, all good so far.

How long should I feed?

Thanks Bet
 

Roy S 

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How long should I feed?

Thanks Bet
How longs a piece of string? I just give them as much as they'll take to draw out the foundation. I normally give around a gallon, which will give them a good start, but if there is a good flow on they might need much less.
But no bees ever died from overfeeding as far as I'm aware!:)
 

lady malarkey 

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I, too, did exactly as Rooftops described, when I hived my first nuc the day before yesterday. It went very well (although I didn't see the Queen, but I did have a massive duvet cover spread on the ground just in case I dropped her during the transfer), and all of Sunday and yesterday they were popping in and out of the hive (I also blocked half the entrance to make it easier for them to defend the hive whilst they are building in numbers), busy as...well, bees (!)...and carrying shed loads of pollen. It was like they've lived there forever!

So good luck with your nuc.

From one newbee to another!
 

pstafford 

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Brilliant - will follow it to the letter. I really cannot wait for them to settle in. Will be so good to watch them coming and going !
 

MJBee 

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It is great to see all this newbee enthusiasm, I hope all the nuc transfers run smoothly.

Could I at this point implore you all to learn the most important lessons a beekeeper can hoist aboard:- LEARN TO BE PATIENT and NO UN-NECESSARY INSPECTIONS.

Observe the activity at the entrance - pollen being collected?, bees returning without pollen and almost crash landing - full load of nectar?, bees zig zagging in front of the hive and fights breaking out at the entrance - robbing?. All that can be found by just looking. More queens are killed or damaged during "inspections" than by any other cause.

Enjoy your beekeeping, I warn you now it is addictive:):cheers2:Mike
 

MuswellMetro 

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It is great to see all this newbee enthusiasm, I hope all the nuc transfers run smoothly.

Could I at this point implore you all to learn the most important lessons a beekeeper can hoist aboard:- LEARN TO BE PATIENT and NO UN-NECESSARY INSPECTIONS.

Observe the activity at the entrance - pollen being collected?, bees returning without pollen and almost crash landing - full load of nectar?, bees zig zagging in front of the hive and fights breaking out at the entrance - robbing?. All that can be found by just looking. More queens are killed or damaged during "inspections" than by any other cause.

Enjoy your beekeeping, I warn you now it is addictive:):cheers2:Mike
Yes leave them 7 days before opening, check your feed at day three, they can use a litre in a day in bad weather, and feed for another week at least (;! syrup and a drop of lemon grass or peppermint oil

i put my nuc in warm way. starting at the back of the hive two foundation frames, then the Nuc frames in exact order then fill up to front with either five foundation( 37mm spacers) and dummy or if on hoffmans (35MM)six frames ( changing one for a dumy lateras the frames get wax biuld up)
 

lady malarkey 

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Yes leave them 7 days before opening, check your feed at day three, they can use a litre in a day in bad weather, and feed for another week at least (;! syrup and a drop of lemon grass or peppermint oil

i put my nuc in warm way. starting at the back of the hive two foundation frames, then the Nuc frames in exact order then fill up to front with either five foundation( 37mm spacers) and dummy or if on hoffmans (35MM)six frames ( changing one for a dumy lateras the frames get wax biuld up)

See! I've learned something already! Check the feeder on day 3. This is day 3 for me, so I'll pop on the suit later and check the feed. But I'm not going to open the hive until at least the weekend - 7 days after I hived the nuc - and have been doing exactly as suggested; observing from a distance and being amazed that bees are so clever at doing what they do. Am observing much pollen collection, although bees were quite inactive yesterday because of rain.

I put the frames in the cold way as the hive is on a closed floor - thought it would help with ventilation?
 

Nonu 

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Had my nucleus about 5 days ago, queen still in her little container but I put her in as told, fed them. Bees have been in and out of the hive but seemed a bit busier at the beginning. Had a look today, the sugar plug had been eaten but she was dead. What now!
 

Grub 

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As a beekeeping newbie, I have attended the beginners course over the winter, built my hive and ordered a nuc of bees.

Now the nerves have set in as I count down 5 days until I can go and collect my first nuc.

I thought I would ask for some tips on what to do beforehand and on the day…
Hi
I know what you are going through and I have kept bees for ten years with a five year gap but still had a nervouse sweat which I blamed on the suit, just double check you have everything at hand , I didnt use smoke when tranfering the nuc I used a very fine mister with sugar water couple of squirts over the top of the frames and after taking first one out squirted the next frame left, them for a minute calmed everyone down including me.
I have always listened to a old beekeeper "leave alone" apart from filling feeder if needed to be honest longer than 7 days normaly I leave for at least 20.

Then just watch

Grub
 

pstafford 

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They are in !

I thought I would give you wonderful people a quick update…

I collected my nuc box early Saturday morning and left them on their new site for the day to get used to their new surroundings. I was amazed at how quickly pollen was going in to the box and Saturday was a wonderfully sunny day for them too.

Around 2pm on Sunday I placed their new hive on the site and began to move the frames from the nuc box to the hive. This is when I discovered that the frames were held in firm as on the sides they had built wax from the frames to the sides of the nuc box.

Fiddly as it was. I managed to get all frames in to the hive without a single sting and the bees happily leaving from the front door of the hive for flights. This left my nuc box with the wax on the sides and many bees inside resting against the entrance.

I went inside to get some syrup. When I came out I noticed more and more bees in the nuc box – the queen must be hidden inside out of view on one piece of comb. How to get her out and in to the hive without damaging her as I could not scrape the wax from the side of the nuc box without potentially injuring her. In the end I turned the nuc box upside down and left it over the frames. 30 mins later and she was in! Syrup in an Ashford feeder and they were happy.

The only thing that did unnerve me for a while was when100s of bees collected over the front of the entrance with many flying in front of the hive and I thought they were going to leave. 10 mins later and it was back to normal.

Thank you for all your advice and I am a happy newbie !

Paul
 
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