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Heather 

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We have collected another 2 swarms last week (not mine) - and they are on 2 frames just beginning to extend to a 3rd -and queens laying:cheers2:.
Lots of food going in - Do I accept the challenge to keep them as they are- or unite for safety- bearing in mind there are 6 beginners in our Assoc waiting for a colony and these swarms could be for them next April if I keep as little colony.

Just wondered-What is the smallest Nuc that anyone has brought through the winter??
 
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I wouldn't unite them unless you have another colony that is very short of bees. By uniting you essentially lose a queen, which is also the worst that will happen if they die out over the winter, so better to keep them separate and give them a fighting chance of coming through.

I would feed them syrup, let them collect ivy polllen but syrup would be better than ivy nectar. Also keep the nucs as sheltered and warm as possible. A poly nuc would be best but you can insulate a wooden one.
 

admin 

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Morning Heather,
What are they in,a 5 frame Nuc box/is it 12-18mm ply ?
I agree with Rooftops,insulate them and take a chance,I have often read about 2 frame nucs going through the winter in the uk.
 

JCBrum 

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Feeding is essential I think, - possibly a frame feeder ? but keep your eye open for wasps, there's still quite a few about and they killed one of my nucs a few days ago.

:(
 

victor meldrew 

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You could try dividing a standard brood box , having entrances in different directions, installing swarms each side of divisions ,,then using following boards to reduce each side to match colony size . Our branch winters small colonies in this manner for the same reasons you quote:) ( we get lots of beginners of late .)

John Wilkinson
 

taff.. 

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I have a nuc of a similar size, I made it up after replacing a queen in one of my hives and I wanted to keep this queen as an insurance policy.

The nuc was getting robbed badly by wasps over in the apiary so i brought it home, its only a mile or so away but I thought losing a few fliers is better than losing the whole lot, I'm feeding them syryp and they are looking ok at the moment.

I intend on moving them closer to a wooden shed I have at the bottom of my garden with the intention of having them inside, with a short length of pipe leading them to the outside via a hole drilled in the side. (for the coldest part of the winter)

when it's inside the shed I'm going to try and insulate the nuc a bit with a piece of old quilt or blanket or something like that
 

JCBrum 

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Sounds good Taff,

We need a Somerset 'Bee-shed' division, :)
 

taff.. 

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Sounds good Taff,

We need a Somerset 'Bee-shed' division, :)
:hurray:

sounds like a good plan.

unfortunately MrsTaff has different ideas, saving a small nuc by bringing it home is one thing, having a full colony in the shed is quite another.

the shed is to the right of where I was stood taking this photo, bee's and kids dont mix too well IMO :cheers2:

 
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Discovery have a channel called Shed - but dissappointingly it has very little about sheds.
 

Heather 

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Thanks for those suggestions and I have a floor for a 2 way double colony so will try that.
My only worry with the shed idea- if they feel the atmosphere warm, being insulated, when they go out don't they get caught in the cold and not able to return, or am I being 'precious' about them.:svengo:
 

tidymeup 

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I am a little worried about mine at the moment as I would really liethem to get through the winter. I thought they would have taken some syroup by now but they just havnt touched it.

They are very busy and the queern is relaying where brood have emerged.
 
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How are you feeding the syrup? If it is some sort of rapid feeder make sure you dribble some syrup down the inside so the bees have a trail to follow. The syrup has no smell so they don't always find it without a bit of help.
 

tidymeup 

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I am using a rapid feeder and drubbeling a little down but was wondering if I should switch to something else if they don't start using it. Or do they just not need it?
 
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Sounds as if they don't need it which might be a good sign. It might also be a sign they don't have room for any more stores, probably because the queen is laying everywhere. I would leave the feeder on for a bit longer. If you have a super of drawn comb you could give them that but if not don't worry.
 

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