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Author Topic: Nuc's - from singles...  (Read 689 times)

Offline max2

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Nuc's - from singles...
« on: December 26, 2016, 03:33:37 AM »
I have been doing nuc's ( for sale) for quite some time.
My usual process is to take 3 frames from the same double plus a frame of honey/pollen  and place it all into a 5 frame nuc with a frame with new foundation plus a new queen.
The process has been successful and I probably should stick to what works for me. Feedback has been very positive.
Demand for nuc's has been growing and I simply can't keep up.
Also, taking 3 frames of brood  from the one hive does set back honey production a lot.
We plan to have a number ( yet to be determined) of singles set aside simply to produce brood. We may  have to feed them to give them the best conditions ( we never have to feed doubles)

I would expect/hope that we would be able to take 3 good frames of brood plus a frame of honey/pollen from each single maybe every 4 to 6 weeks during a good season.
I tried this on one hive this season and could make 3 splits without any apparent harm.

One advantage is that the brood frames would be mostly new - an expectation of new beekeepers, it seems.

Has anybody else tried this?

With rain, our season starts early - as early as September( we are in the sub-tropics and the Clover flow should be on by then) and in a "normal" year I stop doing splits early in January to give the single a chance to build up before Autumn. Sometimes I can even extract a couple of frames of honey.

Any comments or suggestions?




Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 04:36:50 AM »
Really - no suggestions at all?

Offline 220

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 07:17:39 AM »
Sorry none from me given my very limited knowledge but I would be keen to hear your results.
Caught up with my brother over the break (he does 4-5 farmers markets a week in Sydney) and he said he could take 100kg a week if I can ever supply it.
Only had bees for 3 weeks, still know next to nothing but have my marketing taken care of lol
Might have to look at some rapid growth once I have a season or two behind me.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 07:25:31 AM »
Max, where are you? The subtropics is a big space and it might help to answer your question if we know where you are and the local environment.

Mick

Offline Barlon

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 11:34:23 AM »
I've not done any experimenting with honey bee hives but I have been doing a few experiments with my native stingless bees to make small healthy nuc's which have been very successful.

Normally nuc's for stingless bees aren't made and hives are split in half to create two hives which can also cause problems for a short time while the hives are rebuilding, you also have to wait a long time before you can split again making it hard to produce many new hives, I also have to make each hive box by hand which also would limit how many splits I could do.

I knew some keepers use bamboo to make stingless bee hives so I cut myself a few stalks of bamboo and cut each one just the right size to fit a small nuc colony of bees and allowed the bamboo to dry after I cut each in half and added some honey pots and pollen to each one, I added brood from two hives in each nuc only taking a small amount of brood from both hives, one part of brood with a queen cell and workers cells but no bees and the other with worker cells and adult bees, I'd then glue the two parts of bamboo together with propolis.

I set up my bamboo nuc's in different locations and waited to see how they'd fair, to my surprise all my nuc's survived and progressed very quickly, meanwhile the parent hives also remain strong and rebuild much quicker allowing me to make more then enough nuc's.

I choose two related hives when taking sets of brood and only add the queen before she hatches as Australian native bees do not accept a new queen even if their queenless and have no way to make their own, however they will accept brood.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 12:57:52 AM by Barlon »

Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 07:37:01 PM »
Max, where are you? The subtropics is a big space and it might help to answer your question if we know where you are and the local environment.

Mick
Mick, I think we have meet. I live at Crystal Waters - 30 min from Maleny. My bees are overlooking the Upper Mary River - Prime Real Estate:)

Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 07:40:20 PM »
Barlon - make nuc's with native bees! Now this I cal Inventive! I think you are on to something

Offline Barlon

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 12:50:05 AM »
Barlon - make nuc's with native bees! Now this I cal Inventive! I think you are on to something

Thank you

I came up with the idea as doing a full split attracted many pests and could only be done once every 6 months sometimes longer, the natural split method can take a  over a year or even out right fail so I had very few options, native bees make queen cells all year round so I've always got spare unhatched queens that may never get the chance to mate otherwise and by using brood from two hives it puts less risk on the parent hives.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 01:49:41 AM by Barlon »

Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 08:59:28 PM »
The weather has been quite good so I split a hive which is in the wrong location.
Just a 50/50 split with the plan that the two will be part of the foundation of the new nuc yard.
I gave the hive which is queenless a couple of cells - there are also eggs and young larvae if they prefer to make their own.
Rain is predicted - and we need it badly. Hope it will kick some ground flora along.

Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2017, 03:34:49 AM »
The weather has been hot but the bees have been flying...not sure what they are finding but they are bringing in some pollen and some nectar.
Had a look at the splits and they are holding on.

Offline max2

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Re: Nuc's - from singles...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 07:23:28 PM »
Well, I moved the last of my nuc's into an 8 frame super. They started to build into the lid - it was time.

This has been the worst season I can remember. I have kept bees for more than 40 years...my memory may not be as good as it used to be. Others tell me that the 2000 season was also lousy.

There is a bit of a flow on at the moment but I don't think that I will be taking any more honey off.

This year I averaged 76.5 kg per hive ( about 170 lb) of my working hives.

Last year - a great year - we averaged about 170 kg per hive ( about 375 lb)

OK - I took a lot more splits off my hives this year and this set back some of the hives.

The plan is to set-up a yard only for splits for Spring. I have checked out a few sites  and found a great spot with good access, no other beekeeers, plenty of water and 1000's of acres of forest.

Looking forward to late winter when it will all start again. ( if I'm still on my legs by then)

We had goos rain and if we get some follow-up rain the valley will be covered in clover.

 

anything