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Transfer of nuc to hive



Just transferred a new nuc that I received on Saturday, into my home made hive. I spotted the queen and plenty of BIAS. I don’t know how long they have been in the nuc but they are still drawing out one foundation frame. They were very calm. The queen was introduced via a cage (a while ago as they had built comb around it) but there were also, I presume, emergency cells. Is this anything to be concerned about? I don’t really know what is happening in the bottom photo.

I would cycle that frame in the bottom photo out at the earliest convenience, in preference for evenly constructed worker comb.

With a queen present plus queen cells, especially if they contain larvae etc., those queen cells could be swarm or supersedure cells. Bees don’t produce emergency queens unless the queen has died or disappeared. You need to look up into those queen cells, just to make sure that they are charged with eggs/larvae, or just uncharged queen cups.

What’s happening in the bottom photo could be the result of a large gap between frames. If you break that buttress & extra comb away, that frame might look halfway decent. Plus it will allow you to place the next frame reasonably close to it. You can also shave that protruding honey away before adding the next frame.

The capped cells are just drones on the buttress?

JeffH, can you expand on how to cycle out the frame, at what stage of the process is it best to remove it and replace with a new frame ? Please and thank you :pray:

Hi Karby, it looks like drones to me. They normally build drone comb when building comb to fill large gaps. I would break if off, as well as anything else that protrudes excessively past the line you would create while lining up the top & bottom bar. Be careful not to squash frames together, & avoid trapping bees between them, as a hive beetle mitigation strategy.

Hi Sara, if I want to cycle any frames out of a brood box, I’ll remove any drone brood before placing it above a QE. That saves me creating an escape hole for the drones after they emerge. It also saves them getting stuck in a QE while trying to get down through it. The workers will emerge above the QE, before the bees replace them with honey. Then I can please myself whether I keep using that frame for honey, or cut the comb out after the first honey extraction, ready for fresh foundation.

JeffH, ok I get what your saying and I’m glad I asked, because I thought you would just take that frame out & replace it with a new, blank frame but couldn’t understand what you would do with the contents of the old frame, especially if it was part brood. Many thanks :pray:

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If the cups have nothing in them just squish them. You’ll find play cups throughout the season.

Looks a busy nuc :+1:.

I agree with rotating out that frame in the last pic it looks old and getting messy.

If you can’t rotate it out as suggested then moving it to the outer edge of the hive can help reduce the queen laying in it then when there is min brood just swsp it out with a fresh frame.

I took another quick look today and they were play cups. The frame will be cycled out as I put it on a warre hive.


I made a nuc box and some adapters to make it fit because I didn’t want to cut comb and band them into the warre.

You can see my flow Lang behind the Warre. Both are in my veggie patch. Not many veg growing at the moment, too many bugs eating the seedlings.

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Well done Karby.

Can you grow sweet potatoes in your area? My vege garden is full of mainly sweet potatoes & sweet corn. This has been my worst ever season for grubs in my young sweet corn plants. A few treatments of ‘vege dust’, meant that I’ve got a good crop of sweet corn developing. I dare say there’ll be the odd grub in the cobs themselves. The sweet potatoes are started off in between the rows of sweet corn, so that by the time the sweet corn is harvested, the whole area will be sweet potato vine.

Some people can grow them. I tried one in the hot house but frost got to it before it could do much. The season is finicky due to sometimes getting a late frost in November. Some of my beans are only just coming up. I think the ground is still cold because the weather isn’t consistent.

I’m lucky I don’t get a frost near the coast.

Can you grow Snake Beans? I’m getting a decent crop off them at the moment. I’m blanching & freezing them every 5 days or so, a decent saucepan full.

I haven’t tried them. I grow scarlet runner and blue lake.