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aintbeezgreat 

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...to get my first nuc?

I joined the forum a couple of weeks ago. At the time I anticipated getting my beekeeping up and running with my first nuc. Thanks to those that gave me some advice. Unfortunately, I suddenly became very busy and have still not got my girls. Won't get a chance this weekend and next weekend isn't looking hopeful either. Now worried that it is getting a bit too late in the year to settle them in.

Your thoughts please.
 
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rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
We got one of ours (by accident) in mid July last year. It was quickly hived and fed well to get foundation drawn out, and wintered very well. It is now 4 colonies... A good nuc (3 brood frames, 2 stores/pollen) would be fine.
 

VEG 

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You will still be ok to get a nuc into late July and get them built up enough to overwinter.
 

aintbeezgreat 

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Thanks

Feeling better now.

Anything to be careful about when starting a bit late in the season?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Just make sure you get sold a "good" nuc, and not somthing just thrown together.

Easy to get caught out as a new beekeeper, so if you can take somone to view with you that knows what to look for.
 

Mike a 

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Just make sure you get sold a "good" nuc, and not somthing just thrown together.

Easy to get caught out as a new beekeeper, so if you can take somone to view with you that knows what to look for.
:iagree:

Don't be ruled by your emotions to buy them just to get started.
 

wightbees 

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How long is a piece of string
how do you know a good nuc and one just thrown together?
 

Mike a 

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Ask if the queen is in a cage (more than likely its recently been put together)

How old is the queen and is she the mother of the colony.

Of course they can lie to you and claim what ever they want if they want a quick sale !:reddevil:
 
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oliver90owner 

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Things, I might look for if I were to be in the market. I won't be, and not all might indicate a trashy job or otherwise, but:

Frames all the same sort of condition, brood areas on the frames in the same place and of similar pattern (compact brood area), any really old or 'manky' looking frames, a recommendation from at least another beek, a mixture of different coloured bees, an invitation to see the set-up, a consistency in answers to some probing questions, ratio of eggs:larvae:capped brood and a logical answer if not as expected, history of the nuc, and especially of the queen.

Usually the integrity of the vendor soon becomes apparent, but there are those few that slide a low quality product onto the market. That has been shown to be the case from a few reports on the forum in the past.

At the moment it is a 'take it or leave it' situation because of high demand. I am sure I could sell a few nucs at exorbitant prices and run for cover when something was not 'as claimed' if I were so inclined - as I know my bees are somewhat more variable than those of a good breeder. I would leave enough in it for a re-queen job, if the customer was not completely satisfied with the value for money. But there again, I am not trying to make a living from my hobby.

Regards, RAB
 

SixFooter 

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I bought a 5 frame nuc 15th August 2009 which survived the winter well. It swarmed at the end of May and the Q buggered off, but that's beside the point!
 

Hombre 

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Nuc Science

It seems that Nucs are made to specification in factories, exactly like Japanese TV sets, each exactly the same as the other; not quit so I believe.

From four colonies I made a shook swarm and three queen right nucs. From the remainder, bees, brood, food and queen cells I made up a further seven nucs containing three frames of brood, one of food and one of foundation. There were a few food frames left over, possibly containing syrup that have been stored for later use.

Given that a queen right nuc had been taken from each of the three boxes a week previously, so the brood nests will have been interrupted to some degree.

In making up the seven, a balance of brood was pulled together from all four colonies and in many cases bees from two or more colonies. Frames would be a collection dating between two years old to current.

Of the resulting seven, six are now queen right and either have been or are ready to move into 14x12 boxes – Forgot to mention that they are 14x12.

Now I'm not selling nucs, but are you telling me that six or more weeks later as these colonies, which are thriving well are in any way sub standard nuc, albeit that they have a 2010 queen of at least third generation mixed prodgeny?

Were I to choose to sell as described in the last paragraph, would I be considered by anyone as either unethical or sharp?

If a clinical pedigree product is what is either expected or required then a clinical or specialist producer asking clinical or specialist prices is what is needed, along with relevant certification and a complete paper trail going back how far . . . ?

Tell me that my practice is untypical if you will, more to the point explain how your practice differs, if you will.
 

oliver90owner 

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but are you telling me that six or more weeks later as these colonies, which are thriving well are in any way sub standard nuc

You hit the nail on the head. 2 brood cycles later is one huge difference to one thrown together yesterday to sell tomorrow, by some shabby individual who could not care a jot how the queen turns out and is going to duck out of any resposibility for that outcome.

In my opinion you either get a nuc with a standard imported queen, (which is a near clone of all her sisters and very predictable), but with added bees. I, personally, am not that keen on importation of queens for various reasons, but it does show the real plight of the species when it is claimed it cannot survive without those importations. Or you get a nuc from a reliable source which has been run-on those two brood cycles (at least) and is proven, as far as can be ascertained, to have a good laying queen of good temperament etc. Or you could get a nuc with an unchecked queen with a load of workers which could be all near to the end of their useful lives and too few house bees to support an expanding larvae population - hence giving a large check to the expansion of the colony.

The third option is one I would wish to avoid like the plague. The second is perfectly acceptable. The first might be a lottery dependent on the quality of the stock added but should be OK if the supplier has a good reputation. Things like a change in colour of the workers, after a brood cycle or two, comes to mind.

Yes there are mainly good nucs out there. But there is a minority of complete trash at the other end of the spectrum. The poster asked how one might be able to tell, and now has at least some insight to the pitfalls of dealing with 'honest Joe' who has a couple of nucs for sale, but takes your money and immediately absolves himself of any resposibility for the item.

I am also aware that the purchaser has a responsibility to look after the product in a correct and proper manner, and that not all failures are down to the supplier.

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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P H,

I can go with that. Continual interference, mis handling, not knowing what the signs mean, etc etc.

That is one reason for getting a nuc from a good reliable source. One then is confident of where the error lies when things go pear-shaped.

Regards, RAB
 

Kevi 

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Due to reasons beyond my control I only got my first nuc in early September last year (far too late according to most beekeepers). I took care (under the supervision of a good bee mentor) to feed and care for the developing colony over the winter. Despite the harsh and prolonged winter a thriving, very strong colony came through. Three weeks ago we artificially swarmed the colony and everything is now looking good for two colonies
 

oliver90owner 

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As you are not a long standing beekeeper you will, perhaps know little about taking nuclei through the winter. Not a skill for the absolute learner to get 'a handle on' as the first priority in their beekeeping career.

Over-wintering nucs by some is taken as quite normal. It is not the norm for most colonies and certainly not for new beeks. Different techniques are required, and a lot more intervention is often needed, than for the normal strong healthy colony which can easily look after itself through those dark winter months. It is also riskier.

RAB
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Due to reasons beyond my control I only got my first nuc in early September last year (far too late according to most beekeepers). I took care (under the supervision of a good bee mentor) to feed and care for the developing colony over the winter. Despite the harsh and prolonged winter a thriving, very strong colony came through. Three weeks ago we artificially swarmed the colony and everything is now looking good for two colonies

But a success story all the same.

Well done.
 

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