Transporting nucs long distance

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Since I'm headed down south this spring on business I figured why not pick up a couple of new Russian nucs and get some new blood in my apiary.

    I found an apiary north of Atlanta that has these nucs available in some Jester EZ boxes.

    Once I pick up the bees I'll have a 700 mile trip home. I can do it in a day but I'd rather not. I was hoping to do 400 and then 300 miles.

    The bees should be ok locked in their boxes correct?

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    that should be no problem if you follow just a little bit of caution. in this situation modestly populated nucs are better than nucs with large population. over heating is the primary concern. invariable these kinds of units travel better in the back of a pick up truck than they do inside a vehicle. stopping for even short periods of time can represent a problem for any closed up vehicle. the same thing can happen if traffic congestion stops you even temporarily in your tracks.

    and yes the boxes should be closed up. the jester boxes are very tight but can have problems if you in any way attempt to overstuff the box with frames and bees.
     

  3. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I suppose I could fly down and put the nucs on my lap as carry on :lol:
     
  4. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Bees need air too. Don't bundle them or put them anywhere you would not want to be.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I would put a well secured screen opening near the top of each nuc to ensure that the bees can remove hot air. Use some cushioning under the nucs to minimize bumping and vibration hour after hour. Keep the nucs shaded but not airtight, and very well secured with straps in case of sudden stops.

    Don 'FatBeeMan' sent me nucs all the way from Georgia to NY in the US Mail, he packed them really well and provided ventilation with metal-screened openings. Each nuc had one lower and two upper screened holes. The wooden nuc boxes then had plastic mesh netting over them, with a handle for the squeamish.
    Here's a photo of how he secured two 5-frame nucs for shipping in the mail:
    nucs-arrive-1.jpg
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i must admit ed, i will be interested in how your nucs traveled when you get them home. i have never transported bees 700 miles, 100-350 miles and less, nucs and hives in spring, sweltering summer months and fall months. i read what tecumseh, ABK (gary) and omie said. i have transported bees in vehicles and trucks for the distances i mentioned, and some nucs 350 miles. i prefer using a truck.

    some points mentioned, overheating, keep moving, and ventilation. for my nuc boxes i have extra lids with circular holes cut out at the top i can paste on some hardware cloth for ventilation. my single deeps have old inner covers with a big square cut out in the middle, hardware cloth taped over. the nucs i have transported the 350 mile trip do much better in wood nuc boxes than the cardboard coated ones. the wooden nuc boxes had extra ventilation whereas the coated cardboard did not.

    i think with these boxes, and the distance you are traveling, i would be very tempted to cut or have the apiary cut out a hole or two, like omie's boxes showed, in the top of these boxes, covered with hardware cloth pasted on with the metal duct tape for ventilation(it doesn't come off). well, if it were me, i would, i guess, and on the 2nd days drive i might swipe a little water across the screen for them. you have a 400 day trip, a 300 day trip, and then a day to let them sort of settle down.

    just my thinking. anyway, wish you well on trying the russians, and adding diversity to your mix, they are a bit of a learning/management curve, but some very positive aspects about them.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I did somewhat forget one important point in regards to the Jester boxes.... they are very tight but if you simply set them in the back of a pickup truck the lid of the box will tend to be pulled upward by the difference in pressure. some kind of light tensioning strap should be all that is required to remedy this problem (most times when I am moving jester boxes I am moving a half dozen or so at a time and in this circumstance with multiple boxes lined up one beside the other a board set on top of the boxes works just fine).
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    It will all be based on temperatures during trip. In a perfect world it will be in the 40's at night and 50's-60's during the day of the mid-April trip. I will be returning from Branson, MO so it will be around April 10th when I arrive in Georgia. I'll bring some of my own woodenware with screned bottom boards and upper ventilation just to be sure.

    My truck has a retractable bed cover that I can leave open or partially open for the drive.

    The apiary owners are members of this club http://www.russianbreeder.org/index.html
    I know I won't be able to maintain the lineage for too long as supercedures and swarms happen and new queens mate with my mutts but it will be fun; thats the main thing :)
    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  9. Pilotbeekeeper

    Pilotbeekeeper New Member

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    I'd build two boxes like those described by Omie; take them down with you, and transfer the frames from his Jester boxes to your boxes.

    PBK
     
  10. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I am with PBK, make a box designed for the trip. I have ridden int eh back of several trucks that the bed wil get very hot on long trips. sometimes very hot. insulated from under as well just in case.
     
  11. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I have a crew cab on my pickup, so when I went and pick up my bees I put them in an oversize box in my back seat so when I got to hot I figure they did too so on with the ac in the truck. Made it home after a couple hours and they seem to be ok with the ride.

    kebee
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I suspect that some folks here are over thinking this small task just a bit. if you take even a casual look at the Jester boxes you will quickly notice that the ventilation provided in them is likely several fold what is provide in the 'home made' shipping boxes. over stuffed boxes (with bees) and heat are your main concerns and cooler air temperatures are a blessing. I myself would never set a box of bees inside a cab of a truck or inside a tool box no matter what the temperature.... even a very short period where the temperature spikes upwards is all that is required to ruin a perfectly good box of bees.

    as to time and distance... please review your 'bee history' and realize that the honeybee is an introduced 'exotic' species that got here in the hull of a wood ship totally confined for several months.
     
  13. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Kevin brought up over 130 nucs to me last May. It was fairly warm and he had them stacked 6 high on the truck and screened in. All made it just fine and took off well. I wouldn't worry about them. The nucs are designed to be used for traveling. I had to cover some of the holes with tape up here for the week or so until I got them transferred. They have plenty of ventilation.