Garden Geekery

A Tale of Two Installations

I installed a new package and a new nuc within the last week. I have GoPro video of both, so you can see the different techniques. Both are fairly quick and straightforward.

As a refresher: A package is a bunch of bees from a number of hives dumped together in a box, with a queen they don’t know. The queen is kept in her own little cage so the other bees don’t kill her because they don’t know her. To install a package: dump the bees (literally) into their new hive and leave the queen in her cage for the others to release once they’re used to her.

A nuc is a small colony–they already have a few frames of their own, brood, queen, etc. To install a nuc: Simply transfer the frames to your own hive, and dump any remaining bees into the hive. The caveat is that you have to be very careful not to squash the queen in this process.

You’ll notice during the nuc installation I’m scraping at the bottom of a couple of frames. The nuc is so full of bees that they’re out of room, so they’ve started building swarm cells. It may be too late–often, once they start building swarm cells, they’re going to swarm, no matter what you do. But it’s possible I could keep them from going, since they suddenly have more room to expand. We’ll just have to wait and see.

2 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Installations

  1. Brian VW

    Being it is March and a crazy winter I am wondering how you have made out so far with your bees? They now have been out bringing in pollen for a couple of weeks (yes I am not kidding) and if this keeps up you will need to put winter patties on them (don’t use sugar as they don’t really like it and take it as a last resort). Also, you will need to do a mite check by the end of this month if the weather stays warm and they continue to fly. Good Luck!

    1. astevens16 Post author

      My two hives survived the “winter”! (Third didn’t even make it through last year, but that’s for another post…) They were flying like crazy this past week when it was so warm here in NY, and they were bringing back pollen!

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