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Question about a nuc


#1

I installed a nuc a few months ago and it is doing well. Oddly, however, they have not drawn the last two frames. They have wax foundations that I have sprayed with sugar water and painted with more beeswax but nothing. Any explanations?

Tx
Pat


#2

Do you have photos of your frames Pat? There are many factors that determine how quickly bees will populate a hive. Bees require a large food source to build out wax, this can be achieved through a nectar flow or feeding, another factor is the queens capacity to lay to replace workers dying in the field. She can lay 1000 eggs and more a day but if there is not enough cells then she will only lay into what is available. Catch 22.
Is there a good nectar source coming in? Check the honey stores across the tops of the frames. You may need to feed to get those empty frames built out, spraying wax with sugar water will only distract the bees and compound the issue.


#3

Your profile doesn’t say your location. Could you please correct that? Thank you. :blush:

The reason I ask is because if you are Northern hemisphere (I guess you are), you installed the nuc in June? That is very late in the season. Most colonies would have had a hard time finding enough nectar to spare energy for pulling comb at that point in the season. I would feed them now to get them through winter, but reduce the entrance to discourage robbing - this is prime season for robbing in the northern climes.


#4

Thank you for that feedback. Very helpful!


#5

Thanks, Dawn.
I am outside of Boston.
I installed the Nuc at the beginning of May.
They built comb up from the frames through the cover so they had the
energy at one point, but choose to go up instead to the side :slight_smile:


#6

Thank you, Pat. At your latitude, May is quite late to be starting from a nucleus, unless you are in a region with a phenomenally huge nectar flow. Bee Informed Partnership has a hive scale data sharing program, which can be used to guesstimate what is happening with nectar flow. Here is a hive just south of you, across the state line:
http://hivescales.beeinformed.org/demo_hives/346

The graph suggests that the nectar flow is well and truly over for the season now - you can see the hive weight dropping consistently. It looks like they took supers off around July 20th, which probably means that beekeeper thought the nectar flow was over at that point. If you have undrawn comb and they don’t have sufficient supplies for winter, I would definitely consider feeding them soon, as I recommended above.

Mine do that too, so I always cover the hole in the inner cover with a flat tile. If you want the ventilation, you could use insect screen or #8 hardware cloth instead.


#7

Feed them, they certainly need the energy to pull wax and store food for winter.

Cheers
Rob.