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Too late to put a nuc into a hive?

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benjamind 

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A split I made back on 5th July has just reached the stage of being quite strong and filling the nuc. Back in the summer I wouldn’t have hesitated to put it into a hive but with the brood nest now shrinking, I think they’d over-winter better in a full poly nuc than an empty wooden hive.

Does this make sense? Or should I upgrade them to a bigger home? Suspect I’m worrying about them too much but...

Thanks!
 

Fritillary 

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If it were me I'd keep them in the nuc. I do have polynucs with top feeders which helps, also a super if needed and I insulate the whole thing. Have had no problem so far overwintering in nucs.
 

Speybee 

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A split I made back on 5th July has just reached the stage of being quite strong and filling the nuc. Back in the summer I wouldn’t have hesitated to put it into a hive but with the brood nest now shrinking, I think they’d over-winter better in a full poly nuc than an empty wooden hive.

Does this make sense? Or should I upgrade them to a bigger home? Suspect I’m worrying about them too much but...

Thanks!
I am going to be putting my Nuc into a hive with its 5 frames and dummy board each side and cavity between dummy board and walls filled with bubble wrap, to reduce area needed to keep warm.
It’s the first time Ive transferred a Nuc this late in the season as like yourself I do it earlier, but this is the position I find myself in.

I will roll fondant over them under the crown board.
I will wait and see if they survive into March next year as it’s so cold and damp, up here in winter.

I look forward to reading others tips and advice regarding this
 
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I am going to be putting my Nuc into a hive with its 5 frames and dummy board each side and cavity between dummy board and walls filled with bubble wrap, to reduce area needed to keep warm.
It’s the first time Ive transferred a Nuc this late in the season as like yourself I do it earlier, but this is the position I find myself in.

I will roll fondant over them under the crown board.
I will wait and see if they survive into March next year as it’s so cold and damp, up here in winter.

I look forward to reading others tips and advice regarding this
If you are only going to give them the same space in a full hive why would you not leave them in the Nuc to overwinter ? The only reason to move them into a hive would be to give them more space, if you are going to move them into a full hive I'd give them at least 7 frames and feed them - if you have drawn frames of course. If you don't have drawn frames you are pushing your luck to get them drawn this late in the season and where you live Autumn is well under way.

For what it's worth my White queen nuc (in a modified Paynes Poly nuc with 8 frames) is on the cusp of needing more space and I'm thinking today that I may transfer them to a full size poly to give them the extra two frames. I'll be feeding them up as well.
 

Speybee 

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If you are only going to give them the same space in a full hive why would you not leave them in the Nuc to overwinter ? The only reason to move them into a hive would be to give them more space, if you are going to move them into a full hive I'd give them at least 7 frames and feed them - if you have drawn frames of course. If you don't have drawn frames you are pushing your luck to get them drawn this late in the season and where you live Autumn is well under way.

For what it's worth my White queen nuc (in a modified Paynes Poly nuc with 8 frames) is on the cusp of needing more space and I'm thinking today that I may transfer them to a full size poly to give them the extra two frames. I'll be feeding them up as well.
Thanks for that advice Pargyle.
Just to explain further, the reason I was moving them into a hive ( wbc) was more to do with insulation as my Nuc box is made of wood and my fear is the cold and the damp because the 5 frame Nuc box would not allow me to insert bubble wrap down the sides, should we plunge into the minus C for prolonged periods later in winter.

On the weather channel telly last night, I have a 7C differential from yourself ( temperatures I can only dream of)
I was not planning on giving them more space as being as chilly as it is with single figures at night starting, I thought queen would be reducing her laying and the brood nest contracting, so space not a concern but local climate is.

The Nuc was made on 30 August 2020, with 2 standard deep frames covered in brood and nurse bees, 1 deep brood stores, 1 shallow brood stores, 1 part drawn deep frame and 1 undrawn wired shallow ( deep wax sheets still not arrived in post)
The blue dot caged mated Buckfast queen introduced and bees fed 1:1 surup.
I am waiting next week to check if she’s been accepted, then take her Nuc back to my home apiary.

Does that make sense? Or am I still barking up the wrong tree?
 

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Thanks for that advice Pargyle.
Just to explain further, the reason I was moving them into a hive ( wbc) was more to do with insulation as my Nuc box is made of wood and my fear is the cold and the damp because the 5 frame Nuc box would not allow me to insert bubble wrap down the sides, should we plunge into the minus C for prolonged periods later in winter.

On the weather channel telly last night, I have a 7C differential from yourself ( temperatures I can only dream of)
I was not planning on giving them more space as being as chilly as it is with single figures at night starting, I thought queen would be reducing her laying and the brood nest contracting, so space not a concern but local climate is.

Does that make sense? Or am I still barking up the wrong tree?
No.. what you are saying makes sense ... but, if you have drawn frames then a couple of frames that they can fill with stores will give them a better chance of getting through most of winter without running out. The brood nest will reduce but if it's already a big colony the stores situation is going to be important.

So .. I'd still go for the option of putting them into a hive and dummy down the space they are not using, give them a couple of frames to fill - I know winter comes on very quickly up there so you will find that as it gets colder they will be less likely to cap the stores but if you feed them Invert syrup it won't matter too much if it doesn't get capped. Warmth in the hive is important for them to cap stores so a poly hive and dummied down is ideal.

However, Bubble wrap is not the ideal insulator - it's better than nothing - you should really try and find some PIR (Celotex/Kingspan/Recticel) as it has a huge insulation value. You can cut slabs to fill the void completely and seal the cut edges with aluminium tape and just put the slabs straight into the hive. The bees won't eat into the aluminium tape or the foil surfaces of the PIR.

Do you have Toolstation anywhere near you ? This is the aluminium tape I use ..


and Wickes sell this:

 
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Think I might make a "PIR cosy" or just buy a ploy nuc .
The hive she is going to transfer them to is a WBC ... she could just put the nuc into the WBC Lifts and do what they used to do with WBC in winter ... pack the space between the hive and the lifts with insulation.
 

Speybee 

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Think I might make a "PIR cosy" or just buy a ploy nuc .
What’s a PIR?
Only reason I’ve not gone down the route of the poly Nuc, is that I’ve never really fancied a poly anything.
1) Possible issues with chunks/bits coming away from it as I try to prise bits of it apart?
2) Its light weight , I’ve already had my fingers figuratively burned, with a lightweight Pawlonia wood hive nearly tumbling over me
3) Trying to scrape off bits of comb and damaging it.
4) Cant torch it to clean it.
5) How long do they last before replacement?
6) Pollution more polystyrene added to the global pile?
 
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What’s a PIR?
Only reason I’ve not gone down the route of the poly Nuc, is that I’ve never really fancied a poly anything.
1) Possible issues with chunks/bits coming away from it as I try to prise bits of it apart?
2) Its light weight , I’ve already had my fingers figuratively burned, with a lightweight Pawlonia wood hive nearly tumbling over me
3) Trying to scrape off bits of comb and damaging it.
4) Cant torch it to clean it.
5) How long do they last before replacement?
6) Pollution more polystyrene added to the global pile?
PIR - just the generic name for Kingspan/Celotex etc, ~ Polyisocyanurate (PIR) is one of the most efficient insulation material used in construction.
 

Speybee 

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No.. what you are saying makes sense ... but, if you have drawn frames then a couple of frames that they can fill with stores will give them a better chance of getting through most of winter without running out. The brood nest will reduce but if it's already a big colony the stores situation is going to be important.

So .. I'd still go for the option of putting them into a hive and dummy down the space they are not using, give them a couple of frames to fill - I know winter comes on very quickly up there so you will find that as it gets colder they will be less likely to cap the stores but if you feed them Invert syrup it won't matter too much if it doesn't get capped. Warmth in the hive is important for them to cap stores so a poly hive and dummied down is ideal.

However, Bubble wrap is not the ideal insulator - it's better than nothing - you should really try and find some PIR (Celotex/Kingspan/Recticel) as it has a huge insulation value. You can cut slabs to fill the void completely and seal the cut edges with aluminium tape and just put the slabs straight into the hive. The bees won't eat into the aluminium tape or the foil surfaces of the PIR.

Do you have Toolstation anywhere near you ? This is the aluminium tape I use ..


and Wickes sell this:

We have a Screwfix and a B&Q 15 miles away but they are just wee stores.
You have answered my question regarding Murox’s suggestion of a PIR cosy, and asked him what PIR is....now I know thanks to your post.

I will look out for that PIR as both you and Murox have suggested it and it makes sense with its huge insulation value, which I never knew about until you both mentioned it.

I don’t have poly Nucs or anything poly as got wooden hives, Nucs so I would be going into a cedar wbc or a National.

Next week once I see what she’s done, I will roll out the fondant and take it from there.
Ideally I would not have wished to have a Nuc late in August, but supplier sent me a replacement for my dud drone layer from mid July, which I accepted but perhaps rather than biting their hand off I should have suggested waiting until next Spring, but I did not wish to be ungrateful.
 

Speybee 

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PIR - just the generic name for Kingspan/Celotex etc, ~ Polyisocyanurate (PIR) is one of the most efficient insulation material used in construction.
Thanks to you and Murox 👍🏻
 
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Only reason I’ve not gone down the route of the poly Nuc, is that I’ve never really fancied a poly anything.
1) Possible issues with chunks/bits coming away from it as I try to prise bits of it apart?
No - if you are careful they are pretty robust - not like fishboxes its very dense.
2) Its light weight , I’ve already had my fingers figuratively burned, with a lightweight Pawlonia wood hive nearly tumbling over me
Once they are full of bees they are pretty heavy - if in doubt - strap them down.
3) Trying to scrape off bits of comb and damaging it.
No .. come off quite easily with a hive tool
4) Cant torch it to clean it.
Hive cleaning is an overrated pastime - I rarely do anything to my poly boxes apart from scrape off excess bits of wax. Propolis stays put, Unlike timber poly is not as absorbent and once the interior is propolised it's sealed. If you do ever need to clean them - forget flames - bleach and washing soda clean them up perfectly
5) How long do they last before replacement?
Finman on here reckons he has poly hives that are well over 20 years old and still in use
6) Pollution more polystyrene added to the global pile?
Ah well .. it's all a balancing act .. if you are not replacing them except for every 20 years then that argument fails ... disposal of course is landfill if you have to. But .. I've looked at the checks and balances and I reckon that poly hives pass my eco-hopes test.
 

Speybee 

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The hive she is going to transfer them to is a WBC ... she could just put the nuc into the WBC Lifts and do what they used to do with WBC in winter ... pack the space between the hive and the lifts with insulation.
That is something to think of, if I can’t get this PIR.
They only have a wee hole at front of Nuc, if you see photo on last post.
Will they manage to get out? As I now need to check if Nuc wee hole aligns to the entrance of the front porch.
Anyway that is what I call thinking out of the box!
Thanks
 
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That is something to think of, if I can’t get this PIR.
They only have a wee hole at front of Nuc, if you see photo on last post.
Will they manage to get out? As I now need to check if Nuc wee hole aligns to the entrance of the front porch.
Anyway that is what I call thinking out of the box!
Thanks
They will find their way out ... as long as there is a clear route from the Nuc entrance to the WBC entrance they will follow the light ..
 

Speybee 

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Only reason I’ve not gone down the route of the poly Nuc, is that I’ve never really fancied a poly anything.
1) Possible issues with chunks/bits coming away from it as I try to prise bits of it apart?
No - if you are careful they are pretty robust - not like fishboxes its very dense.
2) Its light weight , I’ve already had my fingers figuratively burned, with a lightweight Pawlonia wood hive nearly tumbling over me
Once they are full of bees they are pretty heavy - if in doubt - strap them down.
3) Trying to scrape off bits of comb and damaging it.
No .. come off quite easily with a hive tool
4) Cant torch it to clean it.
Hive cleaning is an overrated pastime - I rarely do anything to my poly boxes apart from scrape off excess bits of wax. Propolis stays put, Unlike timber poly is not as absorbent and once the interior is propolised it's sealed. If you do ever need to clean them - forget flames - bleach and washing soda clean them up perfectly
5) How long do they last before replacement?
Finman on here reckons he has poly hives that are well over 20 years old and still in use
6) Pollution more polystyrene added to the global pile?
Ah well .. it's all a balancing act .. if you are not replacing them except for every 20 years then that argument fails ... disposal of course is landfill if you have to. But .. I've looked at the checks and balances and I reckon that poly hives pass my eco-hopes test.
Good to have an explanation that justifiably makes sense
 

Speybee 

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They will find their way out ... as long as there is a clear route from the Nuc entrance to the WBC entrance they will follow the light ..
Ok it’s a clear entrance I’m looking for.
Thanks again.
Will know what to do if I can’t get hold of this PIR
 

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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the reason I was moving them into a hive ( wbc) was more to do with insulation
In reality - for the WBC hive to have any superior insulation properties to a bog standard hive, you have to go down the lines of Broughton Carr's method of stuffing straw between the lifts and the hive proper and putting a thick wad of insulation above the crownboard
 

Speybee 

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In reality - for the WBC hive to have any superior insulation properties to a bog standard hive, you have to go down the lines of Broughton Carr's method of stuffing straw between the lifts and the hive proper and putting a thick wad of insulation above the crownboard
Now JBM....tut tut
I said I was an old fashioned gal......not the cave woman Big Senga from the Broch😉
I cycle if I can......but not on a Penny Farthing.
 
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