After waiting very patiently our supplier has finally call for us to come pick up our nucs. They will be 2 five frame nucs that he says are busting. My question is, do I still need to feed or will they be good since our honey flow is on? We are doing foundationless frames.
I would assess the nuc when you install it. If you have at least one full frame of honey and nectar, I wouldn’t feed at the start if you have a good nectar flow at the moment. When you inspect again after one week, you can reassess whether they are using a lot of stores, or whether they still have plenty.
Thank Dawn! I always appreciate your quick responses.
So we picked up our two nucs yesterday. Everything went very well and they are both in their new homes. I did decide to put the jar feeders on for now since we had like 10 days straight of rain. Our supplier said that their stores could be low because of that and it seemed that they were. Also during the excitement of installing the nucs I got a call about a swarm. So once we were done I grabbed my gear and one of the nuc boxes and was off to get my first swarm. That also went very well. They were about 6 inches off the ground on an azalea bush and the size of a football. I was able to shake them all off and close the lid. 20 minutes later there were only a few stragglers outside of the box. I brought them home and left them closed up overnight. This morning I placed them where the hive will go and opened them up. Should I be worried about feeding them? How soon do I need to get them out of the nuc box? I have 5 foundationless frames in with them. Any advice on this situation will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. @Dawn_SD, @Dee
if they are foundationless only in with the swarm I wouldn’t see any harm in feeding them. Will give them a boost to comb production and makes them wanna stick around once they get brood going. The only reason in my opinion not to feed is if you’re collecting honey (because you’ll collect capped syrup) and if they are binding up the comb with syrup so your queen can’t lay. Hope this helps. Congrats on the swarm!
If your weather is not great, I would consider feeding them - they won’t have much in the way of stores. If the weather is good and there is plenty in bloom, you may not need to, but I would be tempted to feed them anyway.
Getting them out of the nuc box - what kind of box is it? Wood? Cardboard? How well-sealed is it? the cardboard ones tend to be quite drafty. If it was cardboard, I would get the bees and frames into a standard hive as soon as possible. If it is a nice wood box, I would wait until all frames are drawn, 80% full of food and or brood, unless it is obviously overcrowded with bees already. If the swarm feels compressed for space, it may try to move on. If the nuc looks crowded, I would move it into a standard hive as soon as possible. A football sized swarm is pretty big, but only you can tell how it looks in that box.
It is the cardboard nuc box that we picked up yesterday. My initial thought was to leave them in there while they draw out the comb and wait for another deep to arrive. But if that will be a problem I will have to find another way of getting some woodenware quickly.
Well the good news is that you’re in the continental US, so having things shipped to you isn’t a problem I know http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/ offers free shipping on orders over $150 which is easy to do for a full hive.
OK, so I have some questions for you to think about.
- Are bees already bursting out of your nuc box because the swarm was large enough for that to happen? Are there lots of bees sitting on the front during the day? If so, they are cramped and need a bigger box ASAP - I mean no more than a day or two, or they may reswarm.
- Is the box well sealed? Are bees exiting from the corner seams or around the lid? If so, it will be drafty for them, and they won’t like it.
- Are you expecting significant rain soon? Those boxes are usually waxed, and moderately weatherproof, but heavy rain would not be good for the bees.
If the answer to all of the above is satisfactory, you may be OK leaving them in there for a few days longer. I wouldn’t want to wait much longer than that in a cardboard box, but maybe I am overly fussy!
http://www.mannlakeltd.com do the same for orders over $100, and they deliver quite fast (few days to a week). I don’t know if they have expedited shipping, but it might be worth a call. Brushy is usually slower than that.
I just caught the swarm last night. I left them locked in overnight and opened them up this morning before I left for work. I’m very anxious to get home to see what/how they are doing. The box was almost as heavy as the nucs that we purchased and that’s with no comb so it does seem like they will need a bigger space soon. I hope they’re still there when I get home.
No. Our supplier said they are the new Mann lake nuc boxes and he doesn’t like them. Definitely leaks bees. He duct taped the corners for our ride home.
No significant rain but potential showers. Our supplier said he could help us our with woodenware but he only has 10 frame equipment. So far we were doing all 8 frame, so i’ll just have to see how this pans out. Thanks for all of the advice and I will try to keep you all posted on the progress.
ahh i didn’t know that. Up here in Alaska we’re pretty screwed when it comes to them shipping anything. They usually want a kings ransom for shipping woodenware up so we have to get it locally from folks that get it by the pallet.
I just checked, and Mann Lake does have next day shipping if you feel that you need it.
Thanks for the link Dawn. I’m going to go ahead an place an order with them. Should have it within a week. In the meantime if it looks like they need out of that box ill run back down to my supplier.