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Help/advice needed asap

 
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RuthK
House Bee


Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 2:33 pm    Post subject: Help/advice needed asap Reply with quote

I'm only in my second (partial) year of beekeeping, having lost my little colony to wasps last year. I'm about to receive an overwintered nuc on standard frames and I'm in a quandary about how best to transfer them to my TBH.

I've read Phil's new book and understand the basics of 'chop and crop' etc but I really don't feel I have enough experience to do this. I'm on my own with no help locally, too. A 'shakedown' seems equally intimidating as I'm not sure I will recognise the queen unless she has been marked, and in any case I don't have a queen cage or whatever. I'm considering creating a conversion hive by attaching the nuc box to the end of my TBH, but without pictures and instructions I am at a loss how to proceed. Answers to these questions would help me envisage what I need to do.

1. Can I stand the nuc box (I think it will be polystyrene) on something to support it underneath, and attach it to the end of the TBH (nearest the entrances of course) using elastic cargo straps?

2. Presumably I need to drill holes in the end of the TBH to correspond with the nuc box entrance, so the bees can get through to the TBH? I could plug them with corks once the colony is all in the TBH, and the nuc box can be removed.

3. Should I try to seal around where the nuc box touches the TBH to prevent another wasp invasion?

4. Won't the nuc box bars be at 90 degrees to the top bars if the entrance to the nuc box is at the front? Does this matter?

I hope someone can help as I really don't want to mess this up.
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never done a chop & crop so can't really advise but I would message Phil & ask him if there's anyone near who can help you.
He probably knows most of the Natural beekeepers in Devon.
They aren't going to mind staying in a nuc box for a few days so don't panic.
Phil is on facebook as well if you get no response from here.https://www.facebook.com/BarefootBeekeeper?fref=ts
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http://www.fotothing.com/Tavascarow
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1573
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Tavascarow says, you probably need some help and the chop and crop is really the best way forward.
What you are describing as regards attaching the nuc on the front of the hive will not work. The bees will swarm rather than move into the main hive as it is essentially a separate cavity and they will not split the brood nest between the two, so the brood will remain in the nuc and they probably won't even draw any comb in the TBH as they will not see it as part of their home.

Sorry to shoot you down in flames but you really need to bite the bullet on this. Doing a shook swarm from the nuc would be a shocking waste of all the brood, so you need to psych yourself up to do the chop and crop. There are several videos on You Tube of chop and crop, so watch those and get everything together that you need before you start.

Alternatively, take the nuc back and ask them to do you a shook swarm instead.
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RuthK
House Bee


Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks, both of you, for your advice.

I do see what you mean, Barbara, about the bees seeing the nuc box and hive as different spaces.

I haven't collected the nuc yet, but am expecting a call soon as the weather is so much better now. I'll just have to ask around for help from someone with more experience than me.

Thanks again. I may well post how I get on with the chop and crop, if I don't make a complete 'horlicks' of it.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a chop and crop with my first bees.

Sit down and write down every operation you need to do and list what tools you will need. This will give you a great list so you don't panic.

For example.
If the nuc frames are wired and you are doing chopnCrop you will need wire cutters. (I used a hedge lopper to cut the national frames.. and built a simple jig to show me where to cut and hold teh frame when cutting)
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