starting nuc questions

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by smgchandler, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. smgchandler

    smgchandler New Member

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    ok iddee old buddy jump in anywhere - i have lost all but one hive and it robbed the small hive out i assume back in the fall so what activity i saw at the little hive was the robbers and nothing else - anyhow i am going to try to make my first nuc with whats left over - i have a nuc box i put together - 5 frame - this week i only had a softball size bunch of babies so i checker board and put all together with honey on outside of supers - 2 of them - get this i took two full supers of honey off of the hive -i took the small dead hive and cleaned everything up and put away -- anyhow when i have enough brood to pull a couple frames out i will and put them in the nuc with 2 honey/pollen on outside and maybe a frame of drawn comb in with the two frames of brood with eggs visible - in exactly 5 days i look for queen cells and pull out all but the two smallest ones leaving whats left of the royal jelly - and then leave it alone for 20 more days - hows my math here -- so i got to ask this question - what happens if i leave all the queen cells i find -- is that bad - i ask because nature is better at picking than me or is it the smallest would have been the youngest eggs ?? -- ok now for the pros - how would you do it and how is my math as far as the days i need to do what - thanks for the suggestions
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the devil is in the detail.. don't ya' know?

    first off if I was down to one hive I would feed just a bit several weeks ahead of the splitting. this should encourage a bit more brooding and the bees and larvae when you do the split will certainly be well fed.

    snip..
    in exactly 5 days i look for queen cells

    tecumseh:
    you can look after two days too make certain they have begun to pull cell. add another 4 days and the cells should be capped.

    snip..
    and then leave it alone for 20 more days..

    tecumseh:
    20 + 5 is 25 which would be a bit tight... if everything works absolutely on the time line yes, but often time you may need to add one or two days. temperature is a large factor in the time required to make queen cells.

    you may or may not choose to cull queen cells. I typically will knock down anything that looks like it was made up late or any cell that appears improperly formed (usually that means too long). since the cells have been made up in an emergency circumstance and have been pulled from existing worker cells 'small' can be more than a bit deceptive. I would want whatever cells that were left on the center frames and not on any frames away from the center of the box.

    hope that helps...
     

  3. smgchandler

    smgchandler New Member

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    it does help - it helps a lot and i am in no hurry to get it going and would it hurt to wait until mid april to look for a lot of brood instead of so early - i want to give the nuc as much time as possible to grow before fall - im just keeping in mind the time line and it will be a month before the nuc really starts to grow into anything - so tell me what happens if i leave all the queen cells in there even if there is 5 or 6 ? whats the negatives and positives here -
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    patience is good and waiting until the hive is ready and the season is ready pays dividends.

    beyond keeping the stuff fed my biggest casualty for nuc making here early is a cold snap. since nucs are quite fragile feeding is almost always essential.

    in any area there is usually a prime time of the year to make up nucs... usually this hinges on some flow going on and having good numbers of mature drones and good mating weather. I don't know exactly when that time slot might be for your area????

    leaving a lot of cells might encourage a bit of after swarming if one cell (virgin queen) didn't maim or kill the others. I don't think there is anything incorrect in doing some selective culling of the cells. as far as cells I normally scrape beyond the mis shaped cell mentioned earlier I don't like to leave cells out at the edges of the splits. I like to keep cells left in towards the center of the brood nest.

    good luck...
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'm not ignoring you, smgchandler, Tec knows much more about the intricacies of splits than I do, so I'm watching and learning right along with you.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee perhaps you could give smgchandler some idea of when the prime flow/ swarm season is in Salem. NC.

    although most times I do nucs is is the spring time, last year I made up nucs in the fall following along with a little conversation I had with Michael Palmer some time back in regards to the heart ache of making up queen rearing splits in the spring time. so the time line for making up nucs is not just in the spring time /prime swarming season. some kind of flow (large or small) does just seems to increase survival/success rate.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Our flow has started, lightly. Swarms, I expect to start within two weeks. Drones are out in small numbers, but increasing daily.
     
  8. smgchandler

    smgchandler New Member

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    well with that said - i will keep an eye on how many eggs / brood i see and take a couple of frames when time is right - hopefully in the next week or so - and i will feed and how long will it take or WHEN should i take a look at the queen cells and get rid of all but 2 smallest in the middle of frames ? did i say all the right words there ?? ----- fellas i sure appreciate the help here - i dont have a lot of bees or not as many as i thought in this one hive i have is the reason i am worried so much
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    about 12 days after you take away or remove the old queen you should be about ready to see a new virgin queen in the hive. generally I will take a look back into a split on day 2 or 4 to make certain some cells are being made. add another 2 week to the 12 days and you should be close to having a mated queen. so the entire process should require just something under a month. cooler temperature will slow the process down somewhat and warmer (not hot) temperatures will speed stuff up just a bit. very hot temperatures usually mean 0 results.