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Making Nucs in 2002

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

   On March 15, the temperatures are in the 80s, and a spring flow is starting, as evidenced by these bees that are "hanging out."

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

Nectar is coming in - fast, dripping on our shoes as we hold the frames, and bees are drawing out foundation with new wax, as seen above. The blur on the upper left is a flying bee, close to the camera. The light colored wax on the top left is the newest wax. The nectar can be seen as a watery fluid visible in many of the cells.

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

A nice frame of brood: Brood frames such as this are removed from the parent hive. You can see the sealed cells of pupating young bees in the lower part of the frame, while the upper part contains honey and pollen.

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

   Rather than look for queens, which can sometimes be tedious, we are on the fast plan today, which means we will pull brood above an excluder. To do this we use a bottomless nuc box.    First we remove frames of brood from the hive, gently shaking the bees from each frame back into the brood box, in case the queen happens to be on the frame. Then we replace the removed brood frames with frames of foundation, dust with Terramycin/powdered sugar as a preventative for disease, and cover half the hive with tar paper. Then a queen excluder is placed over the box. The excluder can be seen at top, leaning against an adjacent hive.

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

   The nuc box of brrod frames is next placed over the open top area of the hive, the area that is not covered by the tar paper. Nurse bees will quickly move up to fill the nuc box, to cover the brood on the frames within.

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

   When the nuc boxes are full, queens and a bottom boards are added, and the boxes, screened so the bees cannot fly back to the parent hive, are loaded onto a truck. A few riders alway seem to go along on the outside.

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

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Image Copyright 2002,  David L.Green

   At the nuc yard, which is semi-open woods, we rake away pine straw to protect them from wildfires.   The nucs are distributed in groups of two, with entrances facing opposite. This is to aid workers, and even more important, mating queens, to find their own home when returning

    Some of the nucs have been given mated queens in queen cages. These will be ready sooner for early use. Others will be given a cell, in order to get a queen mated. For more on our queen cell rearing click here.

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All images: Copyright 2001-2012, by Karen Kutik or David Green; use without permission is theft.

Kutik's Honey Farm
285 Lyon Brook Rd. Norwich, NY  13815   607-336-4105, Fax: 607-336-4199
(February through May, we are usually in South Carolina 803-473-4205)

This page was last updated on February 4, 2012.