Optimistically thinking forward to spring

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MrMouse

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Hi folks,
This is tempting fate and I realise that an awful lot can go wrong over the next few months. However, I’m optimistically pondering how to approach the Spring.

I had two 6 frame nucs which I united because one was queenless.
I therefore have a very strong, ‘double decker’ 12 frame nucleus colony in a Payne’s, poly system.

Hoping that they over winter well, how should I approach the spring?
I want to get them into a normal national hive asap, but moving them too early might be too disruptive. I’d also quite happily take them to double brood (full national) to then split them later in the spring.

Options:
1. If there is a run of warm days, get them into a national brood box early. Keep the 12th frame back for splits later in the season.
2. Add another extension to the nuc so they build up to 18 frames and then transfer into double brood national when the weather has really improved in late April/early May.
3. Add a mated queen, when available, and go back to two 6 frame nucs and build them up into national brood boxes over the spring.

Aims for next year: get to 2-3 colonies (from this single one) and ideally get a honey crop of sorts, too.

Apologies for the enthusiasm,
Tom
 
I would let them build up in the double nuc next spring as they are when they are brimming with brood transfer them straight to a double brood box you might need a nuc super while this is happening .
Split them horizontally after the spring flow with a new queen .
 
Thanks all - for consolidating them into a single brood, I assume the temperatures will have to have risen consistently before transferring them to a national brood?
 
Thanks all - for consolidating them into a single brood, I assume the temperatures will have to have risen consistently before transferring them to a national brood?
wait until spring, until the bees are active again, daytime temperatures are consistently over 10°C and the bees are starting to build up. Probably April/March but it's impossible to set a date on something like that.
when you have the equivalent of half a dozen or so frames full of brood, get them in a full sized brood box.
The worse thing you can do is listen to the empty vessels who seem determined to compel beginners to make increase at a drop of a hat. Too many times I've seen beginners compulsively splitting and either letting the bees make their own queens or introducing expensive bought in queens. The outcome is usually, by the end of the season they end up with loads of weak good for not much small colonies that they will struggle to get winter ready, or even worse will struggle to survive the winter.
Concentrate on getting this particular colony strong in the spring and then plan on what to do with it. You may even get a decent honey crop then.
 
All for beginner enthusiasm but beware of starting fiddling too early. Let the bees tell you. Wait until they are well active. Transfer into a single deep. Watch how they build. When ( and if) that box gets crowded give them another deep. All depends on type of bees, location and weather. Let the bees tell you. In my early days I made many plans, but often the bees made me change my mind. Focus on getting them through winter, the hardest part of bee keeping.
JBM beat me to it.
 
Hi folks,
This is tempting fate and I realise that an awful lot can go wrong over the next few months. However, I’m optimistically pondering how to approach the Spring.

I had two 6 frame nucs which I united because one was queenless.
I therefore have a very strong, ‘double decker’ 12 frame nucleus colony in a Payne’s, poly system.

Hoping that they over winter well, how should I approach the spring?
I want to get them into a normal national hive asap, but moving them too early might be too disruptive. I’d also quite happily take them to double brood (full national) to then split them later in the spring.

Options:
1. If there is a run of warm days, get them into a national brood box early. Keep the 12th frame back for splits later in the season.
2. Add another extension to the nuc so they build up to 18 frames and then transfer into double brood national when the weather has really improved in late April/early May.
3. Add a mated queen, when available, and go back to two 6 frame nucs and build them up into national brood boxes over the spring.

Aims for next year: get to 2-3 colonies (from this single one) and ideally get a honey crop of sorts, too.

Apologies for the enthusiasm,
Tom
Hi there.
Saw this Thread today. . . From Oct.
Hope you '?supered' two tier Single Nuc is still doing fine !? (Did I get your situation right ?)
I would concentrate on quality over 'quantity,' until you have at least x4 Colonies. An Heir, a Spare, and two more (Another heir & spare !) 🤭

Thinking :
Colonies can fail for all sorts of reasons (it happens even to the Pro as well as the Newbie. Been there, done that.)

Suggestion:
I would get that Nuc well Fed, once the Cluster of Bees 'Break' (I guess they are probably having a Duvet Week right now !) Its so Cold 🥶
"Break" means the Bees will soon become more active, initially within the inside of that Poly Nuc. Then resume to pop out briefly to get a drop of Nectar off a Snowdrop !? Someone 'always' needs time at the Radiator while another huddles on the outer Mantle 'Blowing on their cold hands'.) 🤭
Depending where you are based,
I think, this UK Artic Blast will be over by the Weekend. (Hopefully !)
I'm in the Scottish Borders and have mainly Black Bees (with a % of unknown Mongrel Genetics.) These Bees are as Hard as Nails, compared to say Buckfast Bees.
The BB's will still be reliant on : The in Hive Food Stores in their Frames like Capped Honey, the Dry Sugar you Dump over Newsprint /over the Frames etc, etc.)
Later, say in the beginning of March (maybe late Feb if in South UK) we give some Fondant and Protein. Or a Fondant with Pollen Powder Subsitute also provided internally.
Once Day Temps are above say 10C or above: its OK to start feeding a 'Stimulating' 1:1 Sugar Syrup. This gets the Queen fired up into getting a 'good' Laying Pattern going. It's all hands to the pump. Spring will have Sprung. "Work" !!!

Re Hives Numbers :
I would suggest maybe 'knowing' where your Queen is. Find her on her Frame and add her plus that Frame into say a Queen Excluder x2 or Frame Holding Cage (like a Rectangle version of a Salad Spinner,) kind of. 🤭
They are also known as Queen Cage Introducers. Abelo make one on Fleabay for about £40/£50.
Might be cheaper if Googled !
If you see a Rectangle /tight lidded of a x2 side Queen Excluder. . . That's the Kit you need ! Come in National and Langstroth versions too.
My Thinking :
If the Queen 'is removed' away from the main body of the Colony 'they will go into Ecck mode (panic) and try to make a Larval 'Queen' Replacement.
Hang in their. . . My thinking.

Plan :
You have x1 Colony Alive I hope, but not a big one !?
So we need to use what you have carefully, and aid their strength in n
numbers : like Warmth, Feed, Field force of Colony Nectar and Pollen seekers.🤞
If we "Split" right at the beginning of Spring you have x2 Weaker Colonies. One with a Queen. One with no Queen (further weakened !)
So if we. . .
"Get x1 Colony to be in one Home : aka in the Basement AND Attic (they have lower Fuel Bills. More to do their Dinners dishes. 😄)
So Suggestion : Doing a version of a "Cloake Board" Queen Rearing idea. See (*) this Link is below.
David : aka : "The Apiarist,"
Article on the topic gives you the Directions and Road Map. 🚥
Maybe look at Youtuber's doing 'Cloake Board' in real footage, to get an idea of 'what's being done'.

Link (*) See below. . .
That gives you an idea how increasing a Hive, by using a single Colony ! Strength is in Numbers (!)
Aka by making 'more' but not actually doing separate 'Splits' will get you increasing numbers without losing maybe that other 'half' you took off !
You don't have to use a Queen Introducer Cage (That Rectangle Frame holding Unit !) but I think,
it will aid you knowing the Queen continues as normal, but you know she is very 'Precious' (you only have x1 Queen until Queens are for Sale again (Or Nature makes and Mates one : that's in May at the earliest !
So your Queen needs keeping safe (with Tea & Biccies and the TV Remote Control) while others go up and down the Stairs !
Having only x1 Hive ! We need it strong in Population. 💪

Rationale :
The original 'Queen' still does her work, for the Colony. And you have a way of 'taking' some Eggs/and very young Larva, to another part of the House to 'raise Queen Cells' When her Maj (can't spread her 'Ruling' Phremones : this stops QC's being made.) But as you have Her in 'her Room' away from the rest of the House, you basically initiate 'Emergency' we need some "QC's to be made" ASAP 'cos its an Emergency ! 🤭
'Emergency' Cells in Bee Books are SoS last ditch poor QC's say when a Queen Dies, Swarms etc.
Your fooling the Hive residents into an Errr "Emergency/ let's get BUSY and procreate A "Queen" with our Beek Owner 'Giving Us' a hand. ✋

Hope this helps your current situation. And gets you where you want to be. P.M if you need a helping hand during the doing of this whole process ! 😏

(*) Cloake board queen rearing - The Apiarist
 

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