My Spring Plan

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by litefoot, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I'm really amazed at how much knowledge and how many colonies some of the other newbees here have already obtained. I feel like a real slowpoke. Anyway, here's my plan. I only have one existing colony:

    1) Order a 3# package and a nuc. I've never tried a nuc so I wanted to give it a whirl.
    2) Install package in a deep using new foundation and drawn frames from existing 2-deep colony.
    3) Feed new nuc like crazy and eventually transfer into a new deep.
    3) Reverse brood boxes on existing colony and give the queen some drawn frames to lay eggs and the workers some bare foundation to build up.
    4) Later, cut out frames of brood, bees and pollen from existing 2-deep and install into now vacant nuc box with a new queen.

    This would leave me with 4 colonies by the end of the season, barring any surprises. Questions: 1) I know I can move the nuc to a new deep immediately, but how long can I wait before I have to do it? 2) Can you give me some ideas on the arrangement of new and drawn foundation in the existing 2-deep and in the new deep? 3) What about the cut out? Can you give me some help with the timing?

    BTW, the package and nuc have already been ordered. Thanks!:thumbsup:
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    the nuc you get should be ready the moment it arrives for a 10 frame deep and you wont have much time before it is too full and wants to swarm, and if you install the nuc in a 10 frame and use all drawn comb it will build up like crazy and need a 2nd box fast specially if you feed it well.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You can put the nuc in a deep anytime. If you wait too long, you will have swarm cells to make up the 4th nuc. :D

    Use equal drawn frames in each deep and place them in center of box. Finish filling the boxes with foundation.

    The very best nuc build is 3 frames brood, 1 frame honey, 1 frame pollen.
    The worst is 1 frame brood, 4 frames foundation.
    Anywhere in between will work.


    EDIT: OOPS! Zookeep posted while I was typing.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    as Iddee suggest there are many definitions of nucs and almost all CAN work and naturally you can have failures no matter how a nuc is made up. although some folks think a nuc bursting at the seams is better I would suggest these also can produce their own problems. something in the middle in terms of bees and brood and feed has the largest chance of working out for the buyer.
     
  5. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Thanks all for your input. I guess my biggest worry is doing a cut out to the nuc later in the Spring. I suppose if I order a new queen for the nuc, I don't have to worry about the emergence of drones and if I leave sufficient bees and pollen to cover the brood in the original colony, I should be good to go. Do I need to have several stages of brood (eggs, larvae, capped) in the new nuc?

    On a side note, I'm sure glad I added the upper entrance in the colony before the weather turned cold. Although it's too cold to open up the hive, it's reassuring to see the bees gathered at the entrance checking me out each day as I walk by.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Litefoot snip..... I feel like a real slowpoke. Anyway, here's my plan. I only have one existing colony:

    Ef's gut reaction: Beekeeping isn't a contest to see how many hives you can handle. Unless you're in it for the money, don't raise more than you feel comfortable with (time, money, strength...). Pressuring yourself to make increase can take the pleasure out of beekeeping as a hobby/interest/challenge...
    One "BUT..." regarding the previous statement: Two hives should be considered a minimum. All too often a beek will have to turn to one hive to "rescue" the other from unplanned events: lost queen, winter dead-out, weakness from mite damage, etc, etc. It's essential to have a fallback hive to provide eggs, brood, food, pollen or whatever when something goes wrong in one hive.
     
  7. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    What ef said. (I couldn't get the good post smiley to work) I'm in my 3rd year and have 8. First year-2 packages. 2d year, bought 3 nucs and inherited 3 older colonies from next door neighbor who is bedridden now and can no longer work with them. Gonna do splits this spring and (knock on wood) capture a couple-or more-swarms. Hope to go into next winter with about 15.