Nucleus Hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rail, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. rail

    rail New Member

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    Made up a nucleus hive with 5 frames of brood with stores and caged queen. There has been some robbing of the feed and they are bringing out larvae from the entrance.

    Why are they removing larvae?
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    there enough worker bees to cover all the frames of brood? usually a nuc is 2 or 3 frames of brood in all stages and rest food frames, you could have some larva starving or just not enough bees to keep the temp regulated on the brood frames.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Make sure you reduce the entrance to about 1" so they can defend it.
     
  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    What kind of feeder are you using ? I think a slow contact feeder on the inner cover would be less likely to be robbed.
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Sounds like you gave them more brood than they could handle. You would probably have done better with capped brood rather than open brood---but even capped brood needs to have its temperature maintained and too small a population of workers won't be able to handle it.
    If their entrance isn't "crowded" even less than Omie's suggestion of 1 inch might be warranted. If they are being fed anyway, they may not need full flying room.
     
  6. rail

    rail New Member

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    The entrance was reduced to one inch yesterday morning. Last night I installed a robber screen and this morning the robbing was worse.

    Removed the inner cover feeders and put a wet sheet over the hive and moved it to a new location. The hive has no feeders now and the entrance is one bee space 1/4", I hope this helps.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It most probably wasn't worse, just more noticeable due to the blockage of traffic, just like you never realize how much traffic is running along the highway until something blocks the traffic and the endless lines form. Your having moved the hive though, should be beneficial. The best time to pull this tactic is at night, when there are no robber bees around to "redirect traffic" to the new location.
     
  8. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    With everything going on, this 5 frame nuc is facing a lot of trauma to deal with.
    You might be better off by making sure there is no upper entrance, small reduced main entrance, give them a frame of honey instead of a feeder of syrup, and keep the robber screen on. Make sure the queen is in there ok, then leave them alone for 2 weeks if possible. Because you moved them, expect a lot of orientation flights in front of the hive for a few days- don't confuse those bees with robbers though.
     
  9. rail

    rail New Member

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    These are not my ideas but they are working, I really appreciate my mentors!

    I installed a straw through an entrance block, it slowed the robbers. Last night at 11:30 pm I re-installed the robber screen with a straw also, it is helping.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    With 5 frames of brood and the high temps. (in the 100's here) the larva may be dying from over heating. With trying to defend the hive they may not have enough workers to cool the inside down. i would provide more ventilation. I had it happen to a nuc i was transporting. Jack
     
  11. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Brooks is right- your hive seems awfully closed up mid-summer. Is the bottom board solid as well?
    You can create a ventilation opening or two, and just staple screen pieces over it. One near the top of the brood box will help let hot air escape. OPr slip a flat popsicle stick in the front under that inner cover- enough to let hot air out but keep robbers out.
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    neat idea on the straw. Keep an eye on it so it doesnt get clogged up
    :thumbsup:
     
  13. rail

    rail New Member

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    This morning the robbing was worse, I could see the robbers fly from their hive to the nucleus and back. I opened the nucleus to check on their condition; two frames of brood had been uncapped and removed, the robbers had started uncapping the honey stores and small hive beetle larvae covering the bottom board.:cry:

    I moved the nucleus to the robber hive stand and the robber hive to the nucleus stand, the robbing ceased!:smile:
    I cleaned up the small hive beetle larvae from the nucleus and tomorrow they get a screened bottom board and vented top.

    This sure has been a learning experience for me.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I once, many years ago, read about that technique for putting and end to robbing---but I didn't believe at the time that it could really work. Can someone explain the "logic" behind the procedure?
     
  15. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    efmesch, the only thing i can think of is the confusion?? Maybe they can't think in reverse.:lol: Jack
     
  16. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Well if you do that then all the foragers will return back to the weak robbed hive and call it home. This will boost the robbed hive's strength and defenses in a big way.
     
  17. rail

    rail New Member

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    I am learning about this technique, another beekeeper explained the principle of it. Richard Taylor also wrote about it in his books.

    This nucleus hive had lost a lot during the robbing, now the have a work force to help them.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Not only have you increased the hive population but you have changed the population demographics. When you traded location you effectively moved all the older forager and guard bees to the week nuc. When you first made up the nuc, the bees that were put in the nuc was a mix of the hive population but any of the bees that had dun there orientation flight would have returned to the original colony with the knowledge of where there is honey for the taking. The nuc was left with only young bees pressed into service to try to do a job that they were not equipped to do.
     
  19. rail

    rail New Member

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    This nucleus will be changed over to an eight frame jumbo chamber. I modified several 9 1/8" frames to 11 1/4" depth.
    Will use plastic foundation to start the drawing of straight comb then install wired foundationless.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    What is your goal?

    I'm not really sure what this sentence means. ?

    Keep in mind that as Summer draws to a close the bees will not be drawing much new comb. Bees naturally do different things in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Don't give them too much empty space or pests will move in.