Leaning towards Nucs

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bheckel169, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    I'm leaning towards Nucs instead of a package of bees to get my enterprise off the ground. Most of my resource information doesn't address the handling of nucs versus installing a package. What should I know when looking to purchase a nuc, what are some of the things I should be aware of when installing and what kinds of different results should I expect with a nuc over a package?
    You've been great on this site and I'm a sponge.
    Bruce
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    When you purchase a nuc from a supplier you will need to know if they are suppling deep or medium frames and if they require a frame exchange.
    Nucs can come either way, with or with out a queen (most will have a laying queen).
    Most nucs are five frames consisting of two frames of brood two of honey and one of honey/pollen.
    The differences in a nuc will be very noticable since they have a giant head start over a package. A package has zero brood and comb, what ever is being fed and is coming in from a flow is being consumed for wax production and it will be about 25 to 30 days before brood is even born.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    What G3 said....it's a giant head start, and if I were buying now, I would get nucs. But...

    I started with a couple of packages and enjoyed the learning experience of watching the bees with both of us coming along slowly. I don't know if the same is true with nucs; it may be.

    Either way though, you'll get addicted to it! :D

    Walt
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Ask 10 beekeepers a question and you will get 12 answers. :thumbsup:

    I would start with nucs. Maybe one package if you want the experience of installing a package, but for no other reason.

    A nuc should consist of 2 to 3 frames of brood, 1 frame of honey and pollen, and 1 more frame making 5 total. One may be empty or semi empty to tide them over growth wise until they are installed in an 8 or 10 frame hive.

    Installation is nothing more then moving the 5 frames into a larger box and finish filling it with empty frames, pushing all frames to the center tightly, leaving any excess space divided evenly on the outsides.

    Checking with several suppliers, asking what their nuc consists of, what kind of queen, how early the delivery, warranty, and price is, should all be priorities.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Bruce, a nuc is the way to go, it will give you a better chance for some honey the first year. :thumbsup: Install like Iddee said and i like to locate the queen so i know where she is so i won't mash her when transfering the frames from the nuc to their new home. When transfering from the nuc start from the outside frame that has the less bees on it (the queen is less likely to be on it) and work slowly to the other side,just try not to mash bees when putting the frames and bees in there new home. Jack
     
  6. Bheckel169

    Bheckel169 New Member

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    I've heard a lot about foundationless frames. Your thoughts? Keep in mind I'm a beginner. Is this too soon to be experimenting?
    Bruce
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Can't answer that, I am a wax foundation and wood frame fella myself.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Wax and wood, unless you want to learn to do cutouts when they build comb across the frames instead of inline.
     
  9. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    If I may, and believe me I'm no expert;

    As a beginner I recommend playing it cool, do things the regular way for a year, so much to learn,
    the spring after your first winter you will have experience and then try new stuff if you like.
    I recommend, joining your local bee club [ they can really help, they know how to do it in your area ],
    check your local Library, they have or can get Bee books thru inter-library loan { you have to probably request them to do this }

    Every one do it their own way
    Murrell
     
  10. rast

    rast New Member

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    Bruce, mainly for economic reasons, I used starter strips in about 15-20 supers this past spring. I cut the foundation. The frames were horizontally wired and the strip of foundation reached down to the first wire, about 1 1/2". I only had 4 frames, 2 frames in 2 different hives that did any cross building. I didn't blow any apart extracting either.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As Murrell said, do the regular way until you have a little experience under your belt. It really helps to know how to set up special features, along with what to watch for as it develops.
     
  12. patricium

    patricium New Member

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    So you shouldn't leave the frames evenly spaced across the hive body? Why is that? Should you move them later when the bees are more established?

    (Another absolute beginner here, who's planning to get nucs in the spring.)
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Once the frames have been drawn out with comb, even spacing is fine. When the empties are only foundation, they should be tight together. Otherwise, they will draw uneven combs.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    snip...
    What should I know when looking to purchase a nuc, what are some of the things I should be aware of when installing and what kinds of different results should I expect with a nuc over a package?

    tecumseh:
    the size of the nuc and price are generally question number one and two. nucs may be composed of 3 to 5 frames depending on source. I make mine up as 4 framers and add a fifth frame of foundation to keep the girls in the box and their minds off swarming. they begins as 4 frames simply because this make the earlier inspections easier (less traumatic).

    the secondary points I would discuss with my supplier are treatments for varroa and nosema. if your supplier is on the chemical dependent bandwagon for varroa then you should plan to do so also (some treatments can be fairly benign so don't panic at this point in the conversation). If the supplier is utilizing a 'nasty' chemical for varroa control then you must face the CERTAINTY that the comb you purchased is also contaminated. given the current information in regards to nosema I would find out if the supplier fed fumidil to the nuc and new queen. not doing so (at the front side of establishing a nuc) greatly increase the chance that the new queen will be supersceded very early. very old studies (1980 ish) suggest that this one intervention may be the difference between success for a new hive and 100% superscedure rate for the new queen.

    good luck...