[ocba] Hive size question from beginner...
ra41717 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 12 20:45:22 EDT 2011
1) Your nuc should come with 5 frames of drawn comb. You'll want to add
another hive body when they've got a total of seven or so drawn out. So
it shouldn't take long at all before you need to add your second box.
These 2 boxes will constitute your year-round brood chamber. Whether you
go with 2 deep hive bodies or one deep plus one medium, or three mediums
(roughly the same as 2 deeps), or even something else, is a hotly
debated topic that comes down to your personal philosophy and
preference. In our area, you can certainly get by with a deep and a
medium for the brood chamber, but I personally think that can limit the
size of the brood nest (if you've got gangbuster queens like I have!)
for no good reason. So I use 2 deep boxes for my brood chambers.
Since you are starting in June (at the tail end of our main honey flow),
you won't need any more supers this year.
2) Your nuc (bees, brood and frames) may come in a bee-tight cardboard
box, or maybe you are transferring your nuc into your own equipment when
you pick up the bees? If the latter, secure a bit of window screen or
something similar in the entrance to keep the bees in. Plan ahead, be
flexible and be creative. Just don't suffocate them.
3) You'll need to feed sugar syrup until the bees have drawn out all
their comb and have stored up enough food to get them through to the
fall aster/goldenrod flow. Around here, summertime is a long dry spell
for nectar. Since you are starting at the end of the main honey flow,
you'll need to feed your new bees sugar syrup throughout the summer or
they'll starve to death. Mix half water, half sugar (it works out to
roughly 5 quarts water plus 10 pounds sugar).
Once your hive is thriving in the fall, check the mite levels using the
sugar shake test. If you need to treat, there are a variety of options,
depending (like most things in beekeeping!) on your personal philosophy
Let us know how things go!
On 4/12/2011 3:18 PM, Blair Christian wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'm getting ready for a June pickup of a nuc. I've been doing some
> reading/watching of Keith Delaplane, so anything I say is probably
> grounded in what he said, but possibly entirely misquoted...
> Question 1 I have is: What size hive should I start with? It sounds
> like I should go with 1 full sized hive body for the first month, then
> check on the colony, adding either a medium or full hive body on top
> if the colony is in good shape and has filled out most(?) of the
> original hive body. I just bought one full sized hive body and one
> medium super. Do you think that will be enough for this year, or
> should I pick up a super or more?
> Question 0 is: As I go to pick up the nuc, should I take screen with
> me to block the entrance to the hive so that the bees don't get out as
> I'm driving home? I'm sure somebody has a horror story out there I
> can learn from...
> Question 2 is: Do you have any advice on the first few weeks? I was
> planning on sugar syrup because that's what I saw on youtube. Are
> there any alternatives out there I should be aware of? Any treatments
> (like powdered sugar for mites) that I should anticipate for this
> ocba mailing list
> North Carolina Beekeeping
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