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KirstyB

NZBF When to transfer new swarm from nuc to hive

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Hi. I’m looking for some advice about how long to wait before moving a swarm from a nuc/trap into a more permanent hive. Their current box contains 7 frames, most with wax foundation starter strips. The swarm moved into the box about a week ago and as far as I can tell, they seem pretty happy. I don’t want to disturb them too early in case they abscond. 

 

I’ve read that they’re easier to transfer when they have drawn out the frames. How long do you think that would take? 

 

I’ve also read it’s best to wait until they start raising brood so they are more ‘anchored’ to the location? Again, I’m unsure how quickly a swarm queen will start laying.

 

I’m also wondering if I should have them AFB inspected and treat them for varroa before moving them into the new hive. Apparently you can get a good knockdown on the varroa if they’re treated ASAP before they start raising brood (which may already be underway?)? I have some Bayvarol strips so I’m wondering if I need to get those into the nuc. I’m not sure how the strips go if the bees haven’t drawn a lot of comb for the strips to hang between though.

 

Any advice about the timing of all of these things would be very helpful and appreciated. 

Thanks heaps! 

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Hi. Im not an expert but id think they would have drawn comb and the queen would be laying after a week. Id arrange for someone to check for AFB after a brood cycle and before putting into new hive. Wouldnt want to burn a hive and a nuc box. As for varroa id put in now. And when to put in hive id say when AFB checked and nuc box is packed with bees. 

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Put treatment strips in  asap, and they only need to be in there for a week if there is no sealed brood yet. Difficult to give idea of how fast they will draw out frames, as most of us use foundation, and here anyway, been blowing for weeks, so little pollen or nectar being bought in. If you have cruddy weather, consider feeding - even dry white sugar, they will only take it if they need it to prevent starvation.

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Thank you. Yes, the weather has been all over the place here but they seem to be out foraging as much as they can. I have seen more and more bees coming back with pollen so hopefully they’re managing to collect enough nectar. I offered sugar syrup a day or so after their arrival because the weather was pretty bad and I didn’t know how much of their own reserves they would have left from filling up before swarming. They weren’t interested in it at all so I took that as a good sign that they’re coping ok and have taken it away. We’ve got some warm weather on the way this weekend so it might be a good opportunity to open it up for a quick check of where they’re at and get the strips in. Thanks again. :) 

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