question on nucs getting ready for winter

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    I have four nucs that I am going to try to overwinter. All are between 3-4 frames of bees and brood. Each have almost finished storing 5 frames of honey above them (they are 5 over 5 nucs). One is behaving much differently from the others.

    The 'odd' nuc happens to have had its queen longest (mid-July). The others have had their queens since mid-August. The queens of all the other nucs seem to be intent on continuing to rear brood - the queens are laying a ton. The odd nuc seems to have already shut down and, when I checked it yesterday, looked like it had already formed its winter cluster.

    We did have a cold snap last week - but we are looking at around 2 weeks of really warm weather. The nucs that are building are all at least as strong as the odd one. All are queenright. All queens are some form of Russian hybrid.

    The behavior is so different, I thought that I would post it here and see if anyone had any insights.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My first thought would be the odd nuc is much more russian than the others.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Is there anything that may be keeping the 'odd' nuc cooler than the other nucs-- positioned so it gets a little more shade? another nuc next to it getting all the afternoon or morning sun while blocking the sun from the odd nuc? more ventilation openings maybe?
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    All queens are some form of Russian hybrid.

    tecumseh:
    the unresolved detail here is the drones the queens mated with... although there is the perception by some that the queens makes these kinds of decisions in a unilateral way most folks now think that 'hive' behavior is much more democratic in nature.

    I would think.... at your location going to winter cluster is important. I would write down (I maintain a journal for such stuff) when each hive did turn to winter mode and use this as one part of any breed selection program.
     
  5. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Omie,

    No differences in placement - they are all next to one another. If one receives more shade - it is just a couple of minutes more shade at the most.

    Tec,

    EXCELLENT idea. I had not thought of that! Thank you.

    Mike