Installing nucs in poor weather

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bee n There, May 26, 2011.

  1. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Spent the winter reading about bees, watching videos about bees and much of the last month or two accumulating beekeeping stuff, building hive components, a fenced bee compound, 6 foot fence 10,000 volts plus backed up with barb wire.

    So tomorrow is the big day, I am off with a friend 8:30am to go and get 5 nucs in cardboard boxes.

    Three hives will be Langstrough, 2 will be DE national so plan to set one up in a solid nuc with a tranfer board and DE body above, the other will go in a Langstrough box with half blocked off, then an adapter board and a DE box above. Once the queen moves up excluder goes beetween the 2 boxes untill brood hatches out of lower box. After that lower langstrough box will get pulled and frames go in to other hives.

    Problem is the weather, been raining for weeks and looks like a soggy day tomorrow possible thunder storms with not much change over the next few days. Also time gets tight over the weekend. Given that should we get the nucs home, and transfer to the hives right away, wait a bit to let things settle then transfer maybe under a tarp if rain is persisting, or set up the nucs with an opening and do the transfer some evening this week?

    Thanks for any thoughts on it.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The bees should be fine for several more days in the nucs. I would wait for a sunny day myself.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I would wait for good weather. Rule of thumb I go by is to never open a hive on a day you wouldnt want the roof taken off your house.
     
  4. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Thanks, going to have to play it by ear. Looks like might get a break tomorrow evening. The way the weather has been certainly not going to pass up any opportunity.

    What are the risks in leaving the bees in the nucs an extra couple days vs. messing with them in less than ideal conditions?
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Let me answer this question with a question :thumbsup: What are you going to gain by moving the bees in less than ideal conditions. im curious you may be able to teach the old keeps a new trick. I always like to hear new ideas from people that think outside the box :goodpost:
     
  6. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    As mentioned above;
    Try to hold off until the best weather you can, as you have probably read, cold damp weather makes unhappy bees. They should have enough food to hold them for a short while.

    Let us know the results you have,
    Good Luck

    Murrell
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I would do like G3 And rat said, wait for a sunny day. If the nuc's are cardboard i would set them up off the ground and hang a tarp over the top to keep rain and moisture off, but leave thr front open so they can fly if they want. Also on cool,cloudy, and rainy days they may help you make up your mind. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  8. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Thanks, I guess part of it is just making everything fit in time wise.

    Other than that maybe thinking the sooner they are set up the sooner they get on with getting on. The way the weather has been... rained last night, all day today, forcast is rain most of the day tomorrow and then high chance for the next two days and I am out of town some too. If they are in the hives at least they get feeders to work at until the weather breaks.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    "What are the risks in leaving the bees in the nucs an extra couple days vs. messing with them in less than ideal conditions?"

    Cool, cloudy days equal 20 to 100 stings.

    Sunny, warm days equal calm bees and no stings.

    I would wait.
     
  10. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    cut a hole in the top of the cardboard cover and invert a feeder jar of syrup over the hole that will get them thru if your thinking the nuc is light on stores
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Look at the nucs when you pick them up. If there isn't enough food to last them 2 weeks, refuse to take them. They're not good nucs.
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    good solid advise there I didnt pick up on he hadnt picked up the nucs yet until you posted and I went back and reread the original thread
     
  13. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    I am expecting quality should be good, through a reputable set-up far as I can tell and fellow has been involved in local association for years.

    Will keep my eyes open though on the stores. Might be a little shy on jar feeders as I stocked up mostly on frame feeders but can make a couple up easy.

    Well just hopen for a break in the weather, seems many time when they called for sun it rained, so maybe the reverse could happen.

    Thanks, will post an updat tomorrow, hopefully some photos.
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sit the nucs where you plan to put the hives and open the entrances to let them fly, they will orient to that position, when you change them over they will already know where home is at.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Iddee snip...
    If there isn't enough food to last them 2 weeks, refuse to take them. They're not good nucs.

    tecumseh:
    and exactly how much food would that be given you don't know the amount of bees or brood inside the box???

    most time feed in a spring time nuc is never an issue (here this year evidently looks more like the never). a good queen and the number of bees and brood plus the quality of the frames is what distinguishes a quality nuc. for myself I can somewhat determine feed resources by weight (heft).

    also most folks do get a bit nervous in how long they keep bee penned up in those little boxes. let me assure you if the nuc has heft and they are somewhat shielded from the heat and sun that they can maintain themselves in those little boxes for much longer than most folks think. I like to remind folks when the issue comes up that the honey bee is a non-native here. they originally got here by coming all the way across the ocean in a wooden ship and the journey likely took months and I don't think they opened up whatever was the equivalent of small wooden boxes along the way.
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""
    and exactly how much food would that be given you don't know the amount of bees or brood inside the box???""

    Seeing as how a 20 frame strong hive will eat less than a half pound per day during the winter, it wouldn't be much.
    A half frame of each, pollen and nectar should last them easily.
     
  17. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Bees are in the garage for now. Boxes are pretty wet and came held together with masking tape. I backed up some/most of the leaks with duct tape.

    Rain as quit, maybe will get a break this evening. Boxes arn't in much shape to sit out for a couple days even covered.

    Seller said the nucs were right full so they should be hived as soon as possible he had installed one this morning due to a nuc box falling apart and said bees were not too bad but he suited up fully.
     
  18. Bee n There

    Bee n There New Member

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    Weather broke a bit this evening and the boxes were leaking despite being patched up with tape a couple times.

    4 of the hives went well, first one was a bit lively but it settled down after a bit.

    Last hive though was a problem, the queen was not on the frames and we found here down between two layers of cardboard that had come apart. Did what we could to get bees into the hive but not certain we got the queen in safe. I guess we will see how they are acting tomorrow.

    Should that hive be opened up sooner as opposed to later to see if the queen did make it in safe?

    Thinking on it in hind site, likely should have stacked 3 deep boxes on and put the whole nuc queen and all on top of the brood chamber then closed it up an let her go down onto the frames on her own.

    Decided I don't like cardboard nucs!
     
  19. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    As long as you got the queen in the new hive things should be OK unless she is injured, and in that case they could supersede her.

    Try some of the plywood nucs that were designed by Dcoates, they work great!!
     
  20. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would leave her for 4 days or more, then check for eggs. Eggs hatch in 3 days, so if you find eggs in the nuc after 4days, she made it fine.