I posted this question earlier but I’m not sure I put it in the right place. My new Cedar 6 will be arriving in the next week. I was thinking about installing a nuc instead of a package since we are already into June and I thought this would give the bees a head start to get ready for winter. My question is, the nuc will have 5 frames with foundation. How do I work them out of the hive to be all foundationless? If I install a package I don’t have to worry about this but will the colony have enough time to make stores for the winter her in the foothills of North Carolina? Thanks
Hey Jerry, a nuc will definitely give you the advantage of built out comb and laying queen vs a package that has no comb at all and you would have to wait for them to build it out before the queen could lay, then begin storing nectar and resources. If you go the nuc route you should be ok for winter stores but you need to find out from someone in your area if they winter with 1 brood box or 2. I’m in Ontario Canada south of Detroit and I winter with single brood boxes and we have pretty nasty winters here.
As for exchanging the nuc frames for foundation less, I would let them keep those frames this year and look to pull one every month or two next year based on how fast the bees are building comb in the box. You are in a shorter season to build up so my advice is around not having set back your bees with empty frames until the entire box is booming with bees. There is no advantage of foundation less frames really, its just a preference thing in my opinion. I have foundation less in most of my brood boxes except where I installed from nucs which usually are on rite cell plastic, and I have both black and yellow plastic pre-waxed frames too. The black ones are easier to spot the eggs so I do prefer them. The bees don’t seem to care either way what you put in as they are programmed to just build comb fast.
Final thought, you should plan on a top cover feeder of sugar syrup for your nuc-- that is the best thing you can give them to help them build out the comb fast.
Thanks Tim, great advice. By top feeder are you referring to the ones utilizing mason jars or the one that fits under the cover?
Top feeder as in not the one you park on the landing board with a jar on the outside with a trough into the entrance-- they attract robbers. If you are using a flow hive gabled roof the best feeding mechanism to fit under the roof is a baggie of sugar syrup with tiny slits on the top-- not too large so that it all spills out, just a few punctures to get a bit of syrup on top of the bag and then the bees will sip it all up as needed.
My son has a top feeder on his Langstroth hive that fits under his cover. It’s flat and holds about 2 gallons of syrup. One of his friends has 2 mason jars mounted on his inner cover that he uses. I just wasn’t sure what to use with this FH2. I didn’t know if Flow Hives offered one of their own making.
The one your son uses is what I use. The gabled roofs are a challenge if you use them because of the notch cutout on one end where you put the Flow key in so you may decide to go the jar route. I just don’t know if it will fit between the inside cover and the top of the gable roof as I don’t have your model flow hive. I have Flow Hive classics and Flow Hive 2s. I use a flat roof made by beesmartdesign.com for many of my hives as the gabled ones have given me trouble with water leakage during rain on and off (2 of my six leaked). Flow doesn’t make a feeder unfortunately.
Hi Jerry and Welcome to the forum. He is a example of what I did the other day. I have a FH 2 7 Frame. I remove my flow supers frames and just used the flow super box so the roof will fit without issue. I can also observe the home made feeder as well. I’m new a BEEK also. @Tim_Purdie has been helping me out a lot as well as others in the forum.
Thanks Dylan, this is beautiful. Can’t wait to show this to my wife!
You welcome. No worries. Jerry, here is a link to my YouTube channel. Decided to start one to share my journey as a new BEEK. Feel free to subscribe and comment if you wish.