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Uniting a nuc with a single brood box....

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Haughton Honey 

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Does anyone know of a method whereby, with limited kit available, a small colony occupying a nuc box can be united with a slightly larger colony occupying five or six frames of a single National brood box?

I know of the newspaper method using two identical brood boxes (which I suppose would involve the killing of one of the queens?), but without the second brood box it's not possible is it?

Is it just a case of brushing all of the nurse bees of the frames of brood and inserting them in to the National brood box to emerge in there. or is there a way that the flying bees and nurse bees from the nuc can be saved too?

Thanks in advance.
 

Finman 

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I join about equal size colonies just putting them together. First I take another queen off.

I do that often when I take hives to outer apiary.
 

match 

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For the newspaper method, a brood box is ideal, but any kind of box that gives a rise to the roof can be used (super, feeder, eke etc). It doesn't need any frames in it, as its only needed overnight during the merge.

Its often best to take out the queen first (say 24 hours in advance), so that her presence doesn't make the other colony aggressive, and the smalelr colonies' queenlessness will make them all the more willing to unite.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Thanks match - so am I to assume that I should shake all the nurse bees off the frames back in to the nuc box, then place the frames with brood and stores from the nuc in to the larger brood box (replacing foundation perhaps?) and then shake the bees from the nuc in to the rise, be that a super/eke or whatever??
 

Finman 

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hehe heh. After my 46 years experience is not valid here: just put them together...........too simple.............Don't forget fullmoon.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Sorry Finman. Thanks to you too!

I always assumed that they'd fight it just simply put together?

This is confusing!
 

colin 

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uniting bees

Hi,
many years ago we use to unite our bees either by the newspaper method or by using flour on the bees and comb
we found that the bees cleaned the flour of them and the frames within a short time so all the bees had the same smell never had any failed.
 

Finman 

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It depends on time of year what you can do when joining.
In autumn at least the queen must be put in shelter for joining.

If I am not sure what will happen in joining, I give sugarwater to bees that they fill themselves. Then they are not earger to fight. I give forexcaple a extracted comb where I pour sugarwater. After a while bees' stomach is full.

This spring I joined 2 hives when I took them to out apiary.
I put between boxes extracted honey box.
 

Haughton Honey 

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I think that the problem I have is the physical difference between the nuc and the standard brood box....i.e what to do with the frames of bees from the nuc if I'm using an eke or a super to unite?! I accept the paper and flour methods both being 'workable', but it's the physical manipulation that gets me!

:)
 

Poly Hive 

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Can you remove the floor of the nuc box?

Assuming you can then cut a bit of ply/board of some sort to suit and there you are an adaptor plate.

Or. If that is not an option, ie the floor is part of the nuc structure, and so now you know why nuc floors are handy if detachable...

You can unite by spraying the bees, all the frames that is, both "colony and nuc" with perfumed water. Make sure thought that there is only one Queen involved.

PH
 
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Finman 

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I think that the problem I have is the physical difference between the nuc and the standard brood box....i.e what to do with the frames of bees from the nuc if I'm using an eke or a super to unite?! I accept the paper and flour methods both being 'workable', but it's the physical manipulation that gets me!

:)
You invent more questions than there are answers.
But surely you will get 20 different methods to do that.
 
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match 

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Thanks match - so am I to assume that I should shake all the nurse bees off the frames back in to the nuc box, then place the frames with brood and stores from the nuc in to the larger brood box (replacing foundation perhaps?) and then shake the bees from the nuc in to the rise, be that a super/eke or whatever??
Yep - sounds right, but I'll list it again just in case :)

1. Remove the queen
2. Wait 24 hours - makes the bees feel queenless and want a new one.
3. Put a sheet of newspaper on your hive, and a super/eke/etc on top with no frames in it.
4. Late evening, shake/brush all the bees out of the nuc and off its frames into the eke
5. Wait another 24 hours. You should now see newspaper remains outside the front of the hive, go in, take off the eke and remaining paper, and if you need to replace any poor frames (old, undrawn etc) in the hive with good frames from the eke (honey stores, drawn foundation etc). Use this time to check that everything seems ok in the hive (presence of queen, calm bees etc).

If you're wanting to preserve brood, then you can take the brood frames out of the nuc at the same time as you remove the queen in step 1, and transfer them (without any bees on!) to the hive, where they'll be looked after by the hive's nurse bees as their own.

Hope this makes sense!
 

Finman 

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Hope this makes sense!
Really awfull advice ! Too complex.

First, late evening is a bad time. Many bees will stay in ground. In sunshive bees find soon to the new hive and old bees need one hour to locate tjhe new hive. - I never do that that I join in the evening.

Just week ago I joined one hive to another 10 feets away. Day was fine and foragers had time to find the new entrance. You may drop bees in front of the entrance, and when they begin to fan "come here" odor, the rest know where to go. A lot foragers landed on old site of hive, but after two hour all knew the new site.
 
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Poly Hive 

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I hate to say this but I agree with Finman.

For goodness sake, KISS. Keep it simple silly!

Use some perfumed water and just get on with it, it's not rocket science.

And answering questions might help too, can your nuc floor come off?

PH
 

Haughton Honey 

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The nuc floor is not detachable PH.

What would you suggest that I 'perfume' the water with and would one spray both lots of bees - nuc and standard BB?
 

Poly Hive 

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I used the word perfume advisedly. Literally perfume. Couple of drops does it, in order to mask the individual units individual scents.

If the nuc is not detachable then spray and unite.

PH
 

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