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Too late to instal a Nuc?

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Rosti 

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I have one established hive (from a swarm in May 09), clearly I need 2+ hives for sustainability. Plan A - I was planning to wait and instal a Nuc Apr 10 in my second hive. Plan B - instal one now. My original (captured swarm colony) is now on 9 of 11 frames and I dont want to split it. Thoughts?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I know we (beekeepers) go on about having at least 2 hives to get you out of problems, but given that A they sound to be doing well, and B they cost you nothing, I would say concentrate on just this one hive to get it through winter, then when they build queen cells in the new season, use these to expand you hive rather than buying a new nuc (imported or not)
 

Rosti 

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Queen source

Thanks Jim, being a swarm I'm not sure of the provenance of my queen, certainly it's not marked. They are docile enough but I don't have any productivity reference, thought that buying in new blood might give me more options? That said I'm up for splitting!
 

jimbeekeeper 

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My view on a swarm is if they must be doing somthing right to have built up to such an extent that they can afford to split off and swarm.

Addtionaly they must be in good health for the same reasons.

And as for "provenance" just because you hand over money does not give you that!
 
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I wouldn't spit now as the weather has been rubbish and you may have problems getting a queen mated. Also the rate of lay will be decreasing at the latest next Month, if it hasn't done already with the weather. Would it not be better to get a bigger colony through winter rather than 2 small ones? I am in a similar position as yourself having only one colony but that's all the more reason to nurse it through winter.
 

Rosti 

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Thanks Hawklord, I am in full agreement, I would not split now. My quandry is whether to:

a. buy in a nuc now - but is it too late?
b. split in the spring or
c. use a nuc next spring to quickly bring in new blood


..... or try something else to increase to 2 hives next year?
 

oliver90owner 

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Installing a nuc now is a possibility. It could be bolstered from your existing colony.

A nuc needs to be able to defend wasp attacks and so needs to be strong in numbers.

You don't say what size hive, but presuming standard National (not jumbo (14 x 12)) so I would not take a split at this time of the year.

Location could be against if winter arrives early and you probably don't need the hassle of over-wintering a nuc if this is your first year. If Spring is early and your present colony surges in the spring, you may need your second hive for an early split in late April/early May.

Your choice, buy in now (and feed) or wait and see what happens over the winter.

Worst scenario at present is you lose one hive (2 hive sustainability thing) over winter; best is you have more experience and a strong hive to go forward next spring, so I am with jimbeekeeper on this one

Regards, RAB
 
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I would try to get your 1 hive through winter. Use it as a learning curve ie if you lose 1 hive this winter learn from your mistakes - rather than making a mistake and losing 2 hives. Hope this makes sense and it's what I'm doing.
 

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My original (captured swarm colony) is now on 9 of 11 frames and I dont want to split it. Thoughts?

Yet it is so small, that if you split it now, both two will have difficulties in spring build up. Recent colony does not fill even one fox, so it is small.

Don't hesitate. Perhaps you get a swarm next spring and you get easily more hives.
 

jon 

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a. buy in a nuc now - but is it too late?
I definitely wouldn't hand over money for a nuc at this time of year, but I would happily accept the gift of one.:)
keep an eye out for supersedure cells in your main colony.
They seem to be very abundant this year.
If you get a nice cell you could remove it on its frame with the adhering bees and see if you can get a queen hatched and mated.
I have done this loads of times this summer already.
If you get a queen mated you could give it a frame or two of emerging brood and overwinter it as a 5 frame nuc.
 

Finman 

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keep an eye out for supersedure cells in your main colony.
They seem to be very abundant this year.
If you get a nice cell you could remove it on its frame with the adhering bees and see if you can get a queen hatched and mated..
So, we are in September. The last thing what I would do.
If the colony start to supersedure the queen, only ways are to bye a new laying queen or wait if new is lucky to make mating flight. But to wait this to happen is nonsence. It happens if happens and waiting helps nothing.
 
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jon 

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Finman:
I don't know if you have been following the issue re. early supersedure of queens but I have seen it in many of my colonies where there is nothing wrong with the queen.
In many cases the queen has only been laying for a few weeks and there is a good brood pattern.
I am simply taking advantage of some very nice cells to make a few new queens.
It works for me.
 

Finman 

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Finman:
I don't know if you have been following the issue re. early supersedure of queens but I have seen it in many of my colonies.
During 47 years I have see many things too. If there are some problems with new queens, that is why I keep extra mating nucs and extra wintered nucs. Every winter some queens disaper from hives or loose its ability to lay. That is normal to me.

Of course if you have one hive, it is difficult to play wisely, but every one starts somehow and meet difficulties.

I have regreted allways the superceded queens because they are not daughters of best queens.
Don't suit to me.

.
I am simply taking advantage of some very nice cells to make a few new queens.
It works for me.
Nothing have happened yet. .
Rosti has one small hive and nothing more. No queen cells in there, or is it? And if something happens, I recommend to bye a laying queen.

.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Rosti?

Nurture your one colony and look to take a nuc off it next year. And so at no expense (barring honey take) you have two colonies.

I have advocated making nucs at this time but that assumes, or knows, that there is back up material to assist the process.

PH
 

Rosti 

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Thanks to all for their views, No nuc now and a split in the spring (all being well) it is then. I am pretty certain that come March I'll be canvassing opinion on the best way to create a nuc or two, assuming the girls make it through the winter. March suddenly seems a long way off!
 

Poly Hive 

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So your mission now is to work out the plan of action how to get the girls through the winter in good shape.

PH
 

jon 

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If there are some problems with new queens, that is why I keep extra mating nucs and extra wintered nucs..
I do the same. If you have extra queens or nucs, all your options are covered.

The most difficult situation is with just one hive such as in this thread.
 

Poly Hive 

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So why do you run 8 hives and 10 nucs Jon? Overkill? Or sale stock?

PH
 

jon 

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So why do you run 8 hives and 10 nucs Jon? Overkill? Or sale stock?

PH
PH
Basically I enjoy rearing queens and making nucs and it covers some of the overheads. There is an unlimited market at the moment so anything surplus to requirements can be sold - maybe at this stage next spring would be better although people are still looking for bees.
I have sold 5 nucs and a colony so far this year.
I don't think you can have too many nucs.
It gets rid of the anxiety about a missing queen or a problem colony. You just requeen with a nuc.
I have 9 nucs on the go at the moment but 5 of them still have virgin queens which hatched over the last 2 weeks. 3 just started to lay on Monday.
If you have extra stock, you have more queens to select from on an ongoing basis and you should end up with better bees.
If I see a nice queen cell, especially a supersedure cell, I tend to remove it to a nuc.
There's nothing to lose. If the queen turns out to be poor, she can be squashed but you sometimes get a great one.
I have requeened 6 of my 8 colonies, but there are a couple I might requeen again if I end up with what look like better queens.
It takes at least a couple of months to get an idea about a queen.
One dark queen which started laying in June turned out to have offspring which looked like Buckfast and I don't want a mish mash of different strains.
I don't have AMM, just local dark bees which probably have a lot of AMM in them.
 

Poly Hive 

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Couldn't agree more Jon, I have 12 colonies and some 15 nucs and rising. My intention is to take 20 into the winter, and see what the prospects are in spring, as at the moment around here there is no interest. Which is a bit odd really but then there's nothing as odd as people.

PH
 

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