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Nuc, new hive or leave alone

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biggles 

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HI
I have one very big colony that I think I need to split. They are in a national hive that I would like to run without using a super for brood. I can get a mated queen this Thursday, so should I put three brood frames into a nuc or should I put the three frames into a hive a take another couple from other hives? Or should I just leave them alone?
If I put them into a nuc can I over winter them or will I need to move them on to a hive?

Ta

Pete
 

oliver90owner 

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A colony in a standard National on a single brood box is not regarded as a particularly big colony these days. It is probaly more thought of as 'crowded'.

At this time of the season, I would be inclined to make two strong splits. Anything less may be vulnerable to wasp 'bothering' from now on. If you have plenty of hatching brood available that would give any smaller colony a boost.

With five colonies listed your options should be fairly wide ranging.

Or should I just leave them alone?

I thought you answered that question with your opening line. Your colony, your decision. They can still swarm at this time of the year.

If I put them into a nuc can I over winter them

They should be strong enough for a full brood before winter if you sort it out properly, so that question is a bit unecessary. Up to you if you want to keep them nuc sized. All options, options - and your choice.

I am assuming your other colonies are all smaller than a full single National standard brood box? Be brave and make a decision!! Your bees; you are the beekeeper!!

Regards, RAB
 

biggles 

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Your right its my decision but being new to this I though I would ask. The other hives are all full with brood on all the frames so I can take one out of each.

Just wanted to know if its to late in the year and if a nuc will last through the winter. Any more advice very welcome
Thanks for the reply

Pete
 

Rosti 

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If you are not looking for colony expansion and there are no current signs of swarming why split? and why split your honey yield, one big gets in much more than two small. If you want to expand them then just given them a second BB (and some work to do). Worst case is you demaree later and pull them back to a single BB for winter, alternatively you can double BB that colony for winter (this will pull down your honey yield though), so ......

If thats not your plan why are you not just supering up - space but no brood expansion? Have I missed something in the original post, in which case apologies.
 
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biggles 

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Yep I would like to expand them so I'll put the new queen and brood into a new hive Thursday.

Whens the latest to move them back if they don't look strong enough for the winter? and is the best way with new paper?
Ta

Pete
 

oliver90owner 

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Best time? The end of the season or when you know that is what you want to do.

Paper is as good a way as any, and better than a lot.

Regards, RAB
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
if you have a big brood box (say 9 frames of Brood), spilt it in half now, and you have two super strong nucs. The average commercially bought nuc is two frames of brood, two of stores and one partially drawn - quite apart from many nuc suppliers being a bit tight (!), you don't want to pack them too hard or they may swarm.

So a nuc with 4 or 5 frames of brood now will be absolutely fine by winter (assuming winter comes at a vaguely sane time).

3 way split would be cutting it fine.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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A good 5 frame nuc will go through the winter. You say "You need to split" Why? Bee numbers are at a maximum now and will reduce of course. If you want more colonies, then yes you can split with a new queen. If you want some honey you won't get any by splitting!
If the colony is big, you can just go double brood. They over winter well like that. Lots of bees, lots of stores; bees will move up to the top brood chamber to winter. Then you get a good start to the Spring next year.
 

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