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New nuc installation


I installed my nuc three days ago. they were very noisy which I’m sure is reasonable. Unfortunately I couldn’t spot the queen. And I’m now worried as they seem to be loitering outside the entrance with their wings in a k shape. Could this mean the nuc came queenless? Should I inspect the brood even tho I’ve only put them in days ago?

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Thank you

I usually leave a nucleus at least a week after installation before inspecting.

If you could post some photos (or youtube video) of your loitering bees, we can give an idea of what is happening. :blush:

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Thanks for getting back to me dawn.
Unfortunately as I’m a new user I can’t upload the video I just took:-(

Oh yes you can! :wink: If you upload it to youtube, then post the youtube link here, we can all watch it for you. :blush:


Thanks for that advice dawn!

Excuse the grass, I noticed a bit a robbing but my girls have since pushed the grass away in defiance :wink:

Looks like very normal hive activity to me. I would wait until a week after installation, then look for eggs and very small (young) uncapped brood. If those are present, you have a queen. If there are lots of queen cells on the frames, you may not have a queen.

I don’t see any of that K shape you mention, but be aware that to a beekeeper, K-wings means disease, usually tracheal mites. If you have a close-up of a bee with that wing shape, we can help you. If not, you might want to google k wing honey bees. There are lots of links and images. :wink:


Thanks dawn. They were doing the ‘k’ early this morning for three hours but I’ve since stopped. I’d be very upset if this bee company has sold me a nuc two days ago that has tracheal mites

Is there any way to treat them if I do have these mites and how might I find out?

Really appreciate this advice

There are several ways, but I would suggest that you join a local bee club. You may find that someone there has a microscope and the expertise to help you make a diagnosis. It would be more likely that if you see a wing problem, it is deformed wing virus (DWV) secondary to Varroa infestation. That is very common. K-wing is much less common.

The most simple treatment for tracheal mites involves making cakes of icing sugar with Trex (hydrogenated vegetable fat), but there are other options too. I don’t know if you can still buy the evil fat in Trex in the UK any more, as we left over 20 years ago. :smile:

There is some evidence that oxalic acid vapour (used for Varroa) also has some effect on tracheal mites, so it would be better to use that if you know that your colony has Varroa at significant levels. Any thoughts, @Dee?

Tracheal mites are susceptible to thymol so since the advent of stuff like Apiguard for varroa it is quite rare

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What your video shows is normal bee behavior. I agree with @Dawn_SD that it is best to not disturb the bees for a week then have a look. Any sooner and as a new bee keeper you may not see as much as you will after a week for them to settle and for a queen, if she is there, to have began laying. Don’t assume the worst till you have facts to work with.
Welcome to the forum, lots of information and nice folk to answer your questions.

Hey John,

You may want to consider an entrance reducer as well.

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Will leave them be till Saturday. And thanks nat, I’ve ordered a reducer today. I have seen so much pollen going into the hive today, so fascinating watching the little legs come in full.