Over-wintering Nucs

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Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
246
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Location
Salisbury
Hive Type
WBC
Number of Hives
5
I have in mind to try to go into next winter with a couple late splits in Nucs. I've two poly-nucs and a couple of wooden ones.

If over-wintering a small colony in a poly-nuc, where do people keep the nucs? Presumably not out in the main apiary.
And in terms of feeding, obviously I will aim to put some frames of stores in with each nuc. But that's not likely to last them the winter. So would it be best to feed syrup or fondant over the winter?
 
Good feed of liquid in September/October, let them have all the ivy they can gather and then put fondant on in December-ish whether they need it or not. I have the fondant direct on the frames. Keep an eye on the fondant level - it's usually in a plastic bag or wrapped on all sides bar one in cling film. Does the trick.
 
If over-wintering a small colony in a poly-nuc, where do people keep the nucs? Presumably not out in the main apiary.
I keep them at whatever apiary they were made, although I do try to get them back to the main (Home) apiary if I can, so I can keep an eye on them
And in terms of feeding, obviously I will aim to put some frames of stores in with each nuc. But that's not likely to last them the winter.
why not? I haven't felt the need to 'emergency' feed my nucs in spring for many years, just feed them plenty of syrup in the autumn, let them top it up with the Ivy and they're fine. In fact many a spring I have had to remove winter stores and replace with drawn comb to give the queen plenty of space to lay
 
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I keep in my garden with main hives: just other side 25 meters away. Rarely lose any .None last winter.
Can rarely get single nucs to survive without feeding - last year after June it rained - a lot - every colony had to be fed (Had taken two honey crops by end June) Most were down to their last honey frame.
Double nucs survive better with less feeding. And poly this year are 2-3 weeks in advance of wood and with more stores. I am stimulative feeding now to split next week.

Some beekeepers locally lost most or all nucs over winter..Probably a mix of Q issues, (Late supercedure and bad mating weather), stores etc.

I have a total of five live nucs at present.. All taken.. And capacity for up to five more. Then I run out of boxes, space and enthusiasm.
 
Good feed of liquid in September/October, let them have all the ivy they can gather and then put fondant on in December-ish whether they need it or not. I have the fondant direct on the frames. Keep an eye on the fondant level - it's usually in a plastic bag or wrapped on all sides bar one in cling film. Does the trick.
Agree....This is pretty much exactly what I did with a small swarm from last year. Put them straight into a poly nuc, and fed...topped up with further smaller feeds in the autumn and Feb. This weekend, transferred them into a hive; going great guns so far and appear to have a nice nature too (Bonus!). They had filled-up the built-in feeder with comb, (because I hadn't blocked it off !), so that's now gone, and I've fed back most of their stores, which included, I think, some ivy.
 
I’ve been overwintering bees in poly nucs for a few years now. I’ve had lots of queens that have only started to lay in late July or even early August and they had built up enough to make it through to the next spring. Autumn feeding yes and I give them some fondant if they are light the following spring. Most of my nucs are moved at the same time as they are made up and are then moved back to my main apiary by late summer. Basically you can keep them wherever you like. Mine don’t get much attention apart from a weather eye and I don’t have varroa to worry about.
I posted these photos earlier this year. Taken 14/3/24 on a nice day, four that I overwintered at a friend’s apiary. The reason it’s open was to add some fondant. They will all be away by early may and either united with a poor colony or in a full sized hive elsewhere.
 

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