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Author Topic: When is it too late to create a nuc?  (Read 396 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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When is it too late to create a nuc?
« on: July 18, 2020, 11:06:05 pm »
1. have three healthy, medium sized hives.
2. Summer dearth has hit Central Georgia.
3. There is not much of a fall flow around here.

 However, I see the importance of keeping a few nucs for replacement queens and  resources. Is it too late to pull some open brood and make nucs? Or does timing, dearth, robbing, heat, yellow jackets, and hive beetles make that a bad choice?

Online Ben Framed

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 11:33:13 pm »
1. have three healthy, medium sized hives.
2. Summer dearth has hit Central Georgia.
3. There is not much of a fall flow around here.

 However, I see the importance of keeping a few nucs for replacement queens and  resources. Is it too late to pull some open brood and make nucs? Or does timing, dearth, robbing, heat, yellow jackets, and hive beetles make that a bad choice?

Bob I did it first Fall as what I presumed was an emergency. Your precautions are justified. Timing in my opinion is important as this goes along with SHB season for one thing. I am thinking now may be the peak of SHB time in my area. Dearth is another factor that is again pointed out by you and correct in my opinion. Feeding your nucs could play a part in overcoming this dearth, but there is the possibility of robbing because of dearth. Heat should not matter I would think, at least in Georgia. South Georgia? Yellow Jackets are not much a problem for me as for some but there are several videos teaching of yellow jacket trap making.

So my own personal experience. My opinion for my area, later on would be better. In my past experience when I made those emergency fall splits, Goldenrod was kicking in, robbing was not a problem because of the flow. SHB was by then under control because I had listened to Jim and Paus as well as others about oil trays. Heat was no longer a consideration. This timing allowed for each split to come into their own before winter came barreling down. Each nuc built up nicely. Plenty brood and pollen. I fed these 5 all fall and winter, as on warmer days when they broke cluster they would take feed. (43f and above pollen and a little warmer on sugar syrup). I kept notes. I also made sure ultra Bee was readily available to them on those same days, in dry form. (Open feed). Those nucs came out of winter booming. This worked good for me.




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« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 11:55:03 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline cao

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 01:19:48 am »
Around here if I was to make a nuc now I could not get it to a full size hive even with feeding.  I could however still have time to get it going to overwinter as a nuc provided lots of feeding and a little luck.  My nuc making days end usually the first half of june.   

With that said.  My advise is to try it.  Make sure you add extra bees and if you can move the nuc as far away from the parent hive as possible.  Plan on feeding and put on a robbing screen.  Also I have found that later in the year I have less luck with the queen making it back from the mating flight.  So be prepared to have to try again.  Even if it doesn't work out, it will be a good learning experience an only cost you a couple frames of bees.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 03:03:50 pm »
Around here August is pushing it, but some years works.  But I'm in the North.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 09:36:30 am »
1. have three healthy, medium sized hives.
I think most would agree that full size hives have a better chance of survival then nucs so I would stick with what you have until spring.  Propagate the survivors.
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Offline Spur9

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 11:16:39 am »
I would only make a nuc at this time of year / this part of the country if I had a mated queen to introduce the nuc.  If not, you're looking at 40+ days before the first brood will hatch.  That pushes you into September for building back bee numbers and the queen will be shutting down laying.  Not a good combination.

Unless you had frames with food, you probably will have to feed them sugar water and pollen sub.  A small hive will get robbed out during this time of year (dearth).  And small hive beetles love pollen patties.  Been there and have the t-shirt.

You will better served taking 3 strong hives into winter.  In the spring, you'll most likely be able to split them multiple times if that is your desire.  Queens want to lay in the spring, pollen and nectar is abundant. 

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Offline Beeboy01

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2020, 01:06:45 pm »
Since you are in Georgia and won't be dealing with any long term deep freezes I would think you could safely make a nuc as late as mid August. A lot would depend on how long the drone population hangs around and I would plan to feed heavily to promote a fast buildup. I've had success with nucs in mid August but am located near Daytona Beach where we only get a few weeks of cold in late January. 

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 11:43:13 pm »
Thanks for the replies.
I think I will make plans towards creating a few nucs in the spring.
I appreciate all the replies.

Offline Nock

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 12:37:00 am »
I made two up over the weekend but I also used mated Queens.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 02:40:40 am »
Bob with your interest in nucleus colonies, I HIGHLY recommend the following if you have not watched already. The whole video is awesome in my opinion. The Meat and Potatoes start at 21:44

PS Consider that Mr Palmer is in the Far North and SHB are most likely not a problem there as in your or my area. Also consider the cold winter will be weeks, if not a month or two ahead of your area.

The Following Video Is CC For The Hearing Impaired
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 02:53:35 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 08:28:25 pm »
Bob, I don't know how far in GA you are, but I'm an hour north of Chattanooga and I have a few more than I plan to winter. You are welcome to a well-established nuc (in a Jester 5-frame box) if you are on the north end and want to drive it. No charge. Just shoot me a message.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 06:50:55 am »
1. have three healthy, medium sized hives.
2. Summer dearth has hit Central Georgia.
3. There is not much of a fall flow around here.

 However, I see the importance of keeping a few nucs for replacement queens and  resources. Is it too late to pull some open brood and make nucs? Or does timing, dearth, robbing, heat, yellow jackets, and hive beetles make that a bad choice?

I've overwintered nucs made in middle of August in Charlotte. As MB says "that's pushing it" but you can feed feed feed. Just don't spill syrup down the side of a hive in September. :)

I wonder if a good metric for summer splits is how drones are treated. Because sometime in summer the bees decide that the potential of mating a queen is not worth the resource drag and start to send drones  away. But before then, the bees think that the procreative opportunity is worth the risk, and they welcome drones. So maybe splits are ok as long as drones are welcome.  This is just an idea, YMMV :)

Online Ben Framed

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 07:41:48 am »
> Just don't spill syrup down the side of a hive in September. :)

When does the goldenrod flow start in your area?

> I wonder if a good metric for summer splits is how drones are treated.

This should not be an issue when mated queens are used making splits?

Another good video in my opinion.   (Inspecting small Overwintering Nucs)
Bob Binnie at Blue Ridge Honey Company
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 02:24:08 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: When is it too late to create a nuc?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2020, 11:16:42 pm »
> Just don't spill syrup down the side of a hive in September. :)

When does the goldenrod flow start in your area?

> I wonder if a good metric for summer splits is how drones are treated.

This should not be an issue when mated queens are used making splits?

Another good video in my opinion.   (Inspecting small Overwintering Nucs)
Bob Binnie at Blue Ridge Honey Company
I saw a patch of goldenrod abloom this week, but the stand by my driveway has several weeks yet I think. So August. It doesn't do much around here, more of a pollen supplement than a serious nectar source. Nothing to build up a hive on for sure. that is, "around here" meaning my bee yard. :)

About drones: I'm meaning that if you were wondering if you could still make a split, you could "ask the bees" and look in your hives. And if your bees are still welcoming and feeding drones, it is because they are valuing the potential opportunity to procreate above the resource cost of maintaining the drones. Later, when they start to kick the drones out, it is because they value the resources above the procreative potential. That's a way to see what they think of the idea of splitting. I don't remember who said it, but it stuck in my head. "I would never consider making a split without a mated queen in my pocket." Which is not how I do it all the time but I'm moving in that direction. :)