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Making a new nuc/hive from a split


#1

Hi everyone, I have read many posts and watched many youtube vids, but I just want to get the right answer for what I want to do.

I put a nuc (with queen) into my new flowhive brood box last Dec… and the hive never really got strong (I think i started too late in the season) and by end of Autumn, my hive was robbed…and all the bees and hives contents were gone. So I put frames in freezer, and tore down hive and its been wrapped in plastic ever since.

A work colleague has 6 strong hives, and has offered to give me one of his splits. He lives in Wangaratta, and I live in Shepparton - about an hours drive apart.

I have ordered a new mated queen from Bunyip Beekeeper that is due on Oct 11… I have a core flute nuc box… what is the best way to split my mates hive and set up mine ? My plan was - take a frame or two of brood, one or two of honey, shake some bees into nuc box (in Wangaratta) - and NOT take queen… drive that home (to Shepparton)…place nuc where hive will go… leave it a few days to let girls orient to area… then transfer the nuc frames into my hive… and put a few of my older frames in brood box… place queen box between two frames… close it all up…and check in a few days after that, that the queen is out and laying. If I am wrong…please tell me what I should do. Thanks so much. After my loss last season, I just want to build up a nice strong hive and make the most of springs pollen and nectar.

Thanks again !


#2

Sounds OK but you need to shake a lot of bees into the nuc so its strong and does not get robbed out. The other thought is to leave them in the nuc till its booming then move them into the fullsize box. Again, you want your full sized box to be strong and not struggling.

Cheers
Rob.


#3

Thanks Rob. Should I put new mated queen into nuc box ?


#4

I agree with all of Rob’s @Rmcpb comments, but would like to add the following thoughts.

  1. I would take at least 2 frames of brood. The numbers of bees can drop quite quickly while the nucleus gets established. If you don’t shake the bees off the frames of brood when you take them, and they are well-covered with bees, you may not need to shake any more bees into the nuc.
  2. Two frames of honey with at least half a frame of pollen would be good, plus one empty drawn frame to give your queen space to lay, and the foragers space to play with.
  3. When you get the nucleus home, I would leave it closed up (but ventilated) for at least a couple of hours to let the bees settle down after traveling. Then open it, and let them orientate.
  4. Leave the nucleus queenless for 24 hours to give the new queen a greater chance of acceptance. Check for queen cells before you introduce the new queen cage. If you find any, you should probably look again 3 days later, to make sure the new queen is out, and to destroy any other queen cells that they make.
  5. Check the nuc 1 to 2 weeks after the queen is out, and make sure she is laying nicely. If she is, and they have used most of the 5 frames you started with, you can transfer to a bigger box at that point.
  6. If they are short of food in the first week or two, consider feeding to help get them established. When you make a nuc, most of the bees are nurse bees. It takes a while to build up numbers of foragers, so they may use more food than you expect.

#5

You could add a frame of eggs to the nuc so the bees will make a new queen or add a mated queen to the nuc after it has been queenless for a day or two.
I would look at doing the split in September if that is the first of your Spring, that will help boost the colony.
regards


#6

I ended up collecting a swarm and they are going very well in the brood box. Have requeened with a gentle Italian mated queen from William (TBB) and Bunyip Beekeeper - and lots of capped brood since. Once all frames are full, I will either put second brood box or flow super… I am in Shepparton (north east Victoria), where winters get to minus 5 and summers can hit mid 40s (celsius)…what are others doing ?


#7

Your climate sounds much like I had when I lived in the Hawkesbury West of Sydney and there I ran double brood boxes as others in that area were doing.
The reasoning that the cluster in the brood area was larger and so kept the brood warmer – the bad side was the need for early splits and often more of them, if that is a bad side.
Maybe there is a local bee group in Shepparton where you can get local knowledge and advise.
Cheers