Nucleus Hives Keep Your Apiary Alive

| 5/21/2014 11:17:00 AM

bee hive

Making nucs is paramount in keeping bees these days because so many hives die each year in comparison with hive losses of the past. Just to stay in the game and to keep the bees alive, beekeepers must add new hives every year.

Making nucs during the nectar flow is a wonderful way to aid the bees, because they naturally want to swarm at this time of year, and nucs are artificial swarms! The bees win and the beekeeper wins--the bees get to do what they are meant to do and the beekeeper gets to keep more bees. Fewer bees are lost in artificial swarms than if they'd swarmed naturally, so more bees are left to produce honey AND you have a new hive.

A couple of blogs ago, I described making nucleus hives (nucs) and the importance of timing their creation to coincide with the nectar flow (read last 2 blogs) and promised I would report on how it all turned out.

I made 6 three-frame nucs just as our nectar flow was getting underway here in Middle Tennessee. I made another 5 nucs a week or so into the flow. So how did they do? Did the nucs make laying queens and get down to business? A current Bee Culture article says that a 70-percent success rate is to be expected--so that was my goal.

three frame bee hive

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