Getting my NUC tomorrow. What do I need to do?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rw02kr43, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Getting our NUC tomorrow. What do we need to do?

    I'm getting my first NUC tomorrow. What all do I need to do? Do I have to feed the bees yet? Do I need to use the entrance reducer? We took the bee class, and I've been reading a bunch and reading message boards, but I get the feeling it's going to be "here's a box of bees, have a good time. See ya."

    Jason
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Awesome! Once you transfer them to your hive, I would provide a little syrup to see if they take it. If they take it, feed them more. If they don't, then good, there is better stuff for them around your area and you save money on sugar. Entrance reducers seem to have a difference of opinions. I personally took mine off of a couple of hives because they looked crowed at the entrance (which means they have enough population to protect the entrance) and it was really warm. I would use it for a week or two at least just to let them establish themselves and not have to work hard at protecting a large entrance yet. The best lesson I have learned as a newbie is to just leave them alone and let them do their thing. I was messing with them too much...good luck and have fun!
     

  3. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I might put it on the medium setting cause it's supposed to be stupid hot this weekend. I'll also put on the inner cover. Maybe that will help a little too. I think the place I'm putting the hive might be good as on 3 sides it has huge thick bushes. The open side is facing south east. I hope they like living with us.

    Jason
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, warm with no rain in sight. Bushes will be good for winter winds. What kind of feeder are you using? If you have a vent super, a quart ziplock baggie fits real well between inner cover and lid. Plus, it provides good ventilation. I am a big fan of the baggies for feeding.
     
  5. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just have a bottle feeder to go on the front. I have an inner cover, but I don't think there's enough room there for a baggie.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's why we are here my friend, to help when and where we can. :thumbsup:
    You will never be alone here! :wink:
    Ask questions, no matter how insignificant you think they may be. We will be gald to help.
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bottle feeder will be just fine...you may observe and see who else might be drinking from it before you determine how much your bees are drinking. Do you have a water source for them nearby?
     
  8. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a chicken water bottle right beside the hive. I put some styrofoam in the water section so they have something to stand on and now drown.
     
  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With regards to the heat, the bees will regulate their own air conditioning so you have to provide them with atleast medium width so they can fan into the colony to start the cooling process. Heat and full sunshine if possible are infact the colony's best friend---SHB don't like sunlight, and heat helps the bees with keeping proper brooding temps inside the hive. Good luck with your bees, keep us posted!
    Barry
     
  10. pturley

    pturley New Member

    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If permitted, before you select your nuc, ask if you can do a quick inspection. Many beeks I have dealt with are OK with this as part of the process.

    You are looking for the following:

    GENERAL:
    • Bee population: Ideally, all drawn frames should be fully covered with bees.
    • Pull a frame of brood and check the queen's laying pattern
    • Look for supercedure cells.
      • You don't want to find advanced stage cells with either large larva or cappings.
      • Unless the nuc is stuffed and about to swarm this would indicate that the girls are not happy with the current queen.
      • Note: queen cups are often present in strong hives. No alarm here.

    Ask the following about the queen:
    • Is she a 2012 queen or an older one from an "artificial swarm" split as part of their swarm control?
    • If older, how old? If last year's queen, you may want to choose a newer queen (a good laying pattern might be enough to convince me otherwise though)
    • Is the queen marked? Clipped? (I prefer neither...)
    • Ask for clarification of any guarantees/support offered with the purchase.
    • Ask what treatments were last used and when.

    LOOK FOR POSSIBLE PESTS:
    • Look for signs of small hive beetle or wax moth larvae in the frames. They burrow through the comb at the midline, most commonly in the upper or far lower corners of the frames. You are looking for wax debris, slimed honey or webs across individual cells in the frame. In your area and this time of year an adult beetle or two in the hive (provided the bees are coralling them) wouldn't be anything of a surprize.
    • If you are transferring frames to your box, as you do, collect and look at the debris on the bottom of the nuc box. A number of dead mites may be present in the cappings and other debris on the bottom. Unless the beek treats with chemicals, they will most likely be there, hopefully not in large numbers. This will give you an idea of your "next steps" in mite control efforts.

    If your plans are to move it immediately to a 10 frame box, let your vendor know this and perhaps they will have a few nucs that have been assembled a bit longer (all 5 frames might be drawn already). Many people buy nucs for diversifying their stock or for specific traits. Newer nucs (3 or 4 drawn frames only) are somewhat easier to manage in this case.

    Last tip. If it's not too far of drive to get them, try to select your nuc during the day (the rate foragers are coming and going and the number of nurse bees left in the hive is important) but ask if you can pick it up after dark that night or very early the following morning when all the foragers are back in the hive.

    Good luck with your purchase.
     
  11. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The place we are getting them from isn't too far away. We are meeting there then caravanning to their beeyard. We are bringing our box with us with 6 empty frames with foundation. They will be putting in 4 frames from the nuc. These are all fresh bees with a new this year queen.
    Jason
     
  12. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chicken feeder is what I use...works well.

    Nice info from Paul...that should be stickied somewhere....
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    local and hands on... sounds like you can't go wrong there.

    and good luck...