nuc wintering questions.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by reef10, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. reef10

    reef10 New Member

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    I have a nuc that I made in late June. I actually made two but one was weak and got hit by wax moths so I have combined them. The nuc is in a 5 frame deep hive with a second deep on top. The lower half is drawn and I could get it filled by providing them with sugar water. The top is not very drawn out. The bees have not been working on it very much. My concern is that if I keep at them with the feed then I will make them honey bound. Right now the lower box is full of bees so I think that it has enough bees. The queen is still laying some. We have very mild winters with frost only occurring late December through February. Even now I probably still have 1.5 months to get them set up. My question is what is the best course of action. Should I be worried about getting them honey bound before winter?
     
  2. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I'm feeding. Do you have, or expect, any honey flow between now and frost? You will find some good scientific reading about feeding here. Look at the paragraph heading of 'timing' in part 4. Pollen supplements are recommended too. I'm using a bucket to feed my NUCs...You don't have to give them all they want when you get close to filling all frames (meaning, fewer holes in the bucket lid with food available all the time until its too cold for them to take it). HTH :)
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The short answer no. The bees will allow themselves enough empty space in the combs to over winter. Honey bound is a condition that happens when the combs needed for brood rearing is filled with stores restricting the queens ability to lay to her full potential. I would be more concerned about the top box. Bees will move up into the top box and there will be little food for them to consume and no drawn comb for the bees to cluster in when it gets cold.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I would replace the 5 frames that are not drawn out fully with drawn comb and feed. You can pull some frames on the outside of some of your existing hives.
     
  5. reef10

    reef10 New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to answer. I only have 2 other hives which were started from nucs this past spring. While they have done well they have only managed to draw and fill 2 deeps. They didn't even make any honey for me. I think it would hurt their chances of surviving. This is my first year so I don't have a big bank of drawn frames of stores to give them. I will as time goes on. I do expect them to continue getting nectar for another month. I have been feeding and will keep that up. Hopefully they will decide to draw out the comb. If they don't should I opt to remove the box that is mostly empty and put a candy board on? Should I leave the partial box if it has some stores (say 2 frames drawn out)?
     
  6. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    chances are this late they will not pull out any comb. If you are unable to add frames of drawn comb I would pull the top box off. Another option would be to combine them with one of the other hives then split back to a nuc in the spring.