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I have two Carniolan nucs that have over-wintered in my garden. I have full size hives ready for them but it's still too cold to open them up to inspect and re-hive. I expect though that they have started to build up by now. They are both flying strongly when the sun shines (ie not today) and bringing in shed loads of pollen.

How long do you seasoned beeks think I can leave them before they run out of space? They have five BS frames each.
 

oliver90owner 

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Until it gets warm enough to look.

So what if they were to run out of space? They would simply slow down the lay rate. They would not swarm until there are drones on the wing which is fairly unlikely .....until it is warm enough to look. If it was still too cold to open them up....what would you do anyway?

Regards, RAB
 

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I have two Carniolan nucs that have over-wintered in my garden. I have full size hives ready for them but it's still too cold to open them up to inspect and re-hive. I expect though that they have started to build up by now. They are both flying strongly when the sun shines (ie not today) and bringing in shed loads of pollen.

How long do you seasoned beeks think I can leave them before they run out of space? They have five BS frames each.

This is where i get shot in the head

i think that with carnies you will have to do it before 1st April if it is a strong colony in a nuc , with carnies in the south/ south West if they are flying then a quick slip of five nuc frames to a 7/or 8 frame hive at 10c, mid day will not chill the brood enough to give you chill brood

alternatively take one store frames out and replace with foundation then the next store frame a week later...give them some work to do

the weather forcast by Weather Action says it gets warmer to 15th March then colder until 28th, so i would do it next weekend
 
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Until it gets warm enough to look.

So what if they were to run out of space? They would simply slow down the lay rate. They would not swarm until there are drones on the wing which is fairly unlikely .....until it is warm enough to look. If it was still too cold to open them up....what would you do anyway?

Regards, RAB
I don't know. That's why I asked. Thanks for your insight though - very logical.
 

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Thanks MM - don't worry I haven't shot anyone for ages.

That's the dilemma - I don't want to hinder their build up through lack of space, but obviously I don't want to chill the brood either. Short range forecast is it will get a little warmer mid week, but then cool again by next week end. 'Course, they change their minds every bloody day so it's not really worth basing a plan on. I guess I'll just play it by ear and do it when it feels warm enough.
 

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When you walk around in a short sleeved tee-shirt and it feels comfortable thats warm enough.
 

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my view is more in line with muswell - if you were concerned, and by lifting the cover board and having a quick peek the volume of bees covering the frames confirmed they were forging ahead, rather than let them 'slow down', I'd risk a VERY quick increase - have everything ready along with frames of comb/foundation along the sides/frame of honey and swap them into the new brood chamber - shouldn't take more than 30 secs if frames are pre loosened. then knock all loose bees onto the top of the frame, pop a super on top then the crown board to save crushing any (remove the super the next day unless you want to leave it on to act as an eke for a feeder - but move the crown board below it - and you should find all is ok. If it was concerning you, then I'd do this on a warm sunny afternoon if you can find one - I think alot is said about chilling brood, but if you are quick, methodical and have a plan, it should be fine, after all you have more to loose than to gain if they are indeed strong colonies headed by a productive queen.

regards

S
 

rourkie 

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hi if you think you need more space on these nucs why not make a couple of five frame bodies out of cheap ply and put them on top, only need to remove crown board for seconds, regards rourkie
 
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Beware of nucs running out of stores at this time of year. They should be able to find pollen now but nectar is scarcer. I would give them a patty of fondant.
 

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Beware of nucs running out of stores at this time of year. They should be able to find pollen now but nectar is scarcer. I would give them a patty of fondant.
or stick them in a full size box with a frame feeder of syrup and a few extra frames
 

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WOAH.

It is FAR too cold to be event thinking of moving bees from box to box here certainly.

It was 5 C here. FIVE.

Can we take off the panic mode and do some thinking? Like beekeepers might...

This colony went into winter in fine fettle so they might have had three frames of brood. Then those bees hatched and the nuc boxes no doubt looked stuffed as there were plenty of stores and lots of bees at home.

What has happened in the mean time? Have more stores come in? Possibly some from ivy but in general that answer should be no. Have more bees appeared over the last 4 months? Possibly a few but not frame loads.

So. Have we a net increase in lack of space? No.

Have we an increase in numbers of bees? NO. Are we having an increase in bees? Hopefully yes BUT.............

How old are the bees now? Hmmm???????

Are the majority youngsters fit and buzzing to go or old codgers awaiting the reaper?

Let's say that 90% are old codgers, a reasonable number at this time. You have seen the x-over grpah? If not you might want to have a think about what happens in spring. There are thousands of aged winter bees about to die off. As they go the queens support team dies. She then struggles to lay up and until enough new bees emerge to support her properl;y and the population can take off this is what I was taught as the x-over point, the point at which SPRING DWINDLE is arrested and turned around.

So do these nucs need more space now? Or can they safely wait another month or more?

PH
 

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Thanks for the ideas guys.

They've had fondant on for a few weeks now. I checked them yesterday and it's ~80% gone, so I'll make up some more today.

It was 5C here yesterday too - cloudless but cold. Not many bees flying at all. So I agree it's still too cold to risk moving them, and no doubt their spring build up is delayed along with the rest of the natural world. BBC 5 day forecast has changed again this morning - they are saying it will warm up through the week with 10C on Friday - every day is a new set of random numbers it seems.

Interesting stuff about the x-over PH.
 

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No point in hastening the demise those old codger bees, they are still providing excellent service as heater bees keeping the colony warm in their present billet.

The X-over point is an interesting concept. Are there any texts (preferably online) that discuss the dynamics? This being a much longer winter than last year, for example, so is the general dwindle is likely to be greater this year, with the cross over point happening later because of the extended low temperatures?

It was reported on the news a few days ago that there had been 56 frosts (in the Midlands?) this year, compared with an average of 26 in previous winters. They continue with -4 last night.

Interesting subject. :)
 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
It would be interesting to see what Finman has to say about the x-over point, given that the winters over there are far longer and harsher than our own....
 

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How long do you seasoned beeks think I can leave them before they run out of space? They have five BS frames each.
It takes almost 2 months before the hive become to swell. First it takes a month when first big group of new bees emerge. Then old nurserbees start to forage and they die. When new bees have replaced all wintered bees, it takes about 5-6 weeks.

At least you notice it when you see a twist size cluster outside of entrance.

5-frame nuc is slower to build up than normal hive.


--------------------

I do not know what is " the x-over point".


.
 
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To beginner it is difficult to estimate when the hive is full of bees. At least if friends give advises via internet, it cannot be correct estimation. It is difficult even to experienced beekeeper. Colonies are so different in spring.

You may do a 5-frame nuc more and put it under the nuc. If the colony swells too much it will occupye the lower space.
 

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The X-over point (cross over point) where the number of dwindling winter bees in the colony approximately matches the growing number of spring bees emerging.

If I have the definition wrong, perhaps someone will correct me. :)
 

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The X-over point (cross over point) where the number of dwindling winter bees in the colony approximately matches the growing number of spring bees emerging.
Who in the H can know that? And what is the meaning to know that?

I have noticed that in some week a bad wether copnditions may hit half of bees dead when they trye to forage in low temperatures and clouds or rain shower hits the foragers down. Then bees must reduce the brood area.
 

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One cannot know when it occurs but it does happen every year.

On line text? LOL does everything have to be on line to be true?

I may have a slide buried somewhere with the graph but if you think about it, it happens. As above (I am not typing all that out again) there is a cross over point.

PH
 

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What are the criteria for feeding heavy syrup (say 2:1) in a contact feeder instead of fondant? I don't understand the difference - presumably the bees have to dissolve the fondant in water before it can be used.
 

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