Nucleus Hive Instruction Sheet
Thank you for purchasing the 5 frame established nucleus hive and welcome to the wonderful world of beekeeping if its your first time keeping bees!
When transporting the nucleus hive it is best to do so on the floor of your vehicle, preventing the hive from moving around and squashing and damaging the bees inside. Inside the hive there are a lot of bees producing their own metabolic heat, so it’s important that the hive is kept cool and NOT left in a hot car, even for a short period of time. The vents on either side of the hive will aid in oxygen transfer, so be careful to keep these uncovered so that fresh air can be let in.
For added safety I use duct tape to keep the lid in place and there are also clips on the ends of the lid to help keep everything secure.
When you get to the final destination with the bees, put the hive in a position where it can stay permanently. If you have a bigger hive or a flow hive, move it away, as it’s not required at this stage.
I recommend that you wear a protective suit with gloves as the bees will be somewhat disgruntled after their journey. Open the entrance, Note that bees will rapidly come out of the hive, so be prepared to move away quickly. Do this within 5 minutes when you get to your destination as the bees can not be locked up too long.
Depending on the weather, the bees will be slightly agitated as they need to orientate themselves to work out where they are and the new placement of their hive. During this time I recommend that you don’t go hear the hive.
It is important that you don’t transfer the bees straight away when you get home.
This is for two reasons –
- The will be agitated and you might get stung, once settled they want be aggressive.
- A lot of bees will start flying around and you may lose a portion of them.
Let them settle for a minimum of 7 days and wait till around midday when it’s nice and sunny (20,c and above or below 32.c) with no weather changes due to occur that day. Give a gentle puff of smoke at the entrance make sure it is cool thick smoke and not hot smoke, then cut the duct tape and lift up the lid. The lid might take a bit of force so it may take a bit of a jiggle to get the lid up. Give two small gentle puffs of smoke across the top of the frames then leave for 30 seconds.
You can then gently transfer each frame one by one into your bigger hive. Put the frames with the bees in the middle of the bigger hive and new frames on the outside. Be careful as to not squash any bees – once the frames are in you can then tip any remaining bees can in front of the hive. Make sure you take away the nuc box as the bees may be attracted to it.
Don’t worry if you do not see the queen, she is only slightly bigger and I know she is in there is a do a pre-check before you pick up your 4001 new pets!
It will take an hour or so and the bees will then settle into their new hive. Store the empty nucleus box away from the hive by more than 5 meters.
To really kick off the bees you can feed the bees a sugar syrup which is one part white sugar and dissolved one part water. This helps the colony draw wax and the queen lay more eggs. If you don’t have a feeder of sorts, a glad zip lock bag with 7 small holes punched in works well.
Depending on the flora in your area, keep an eye on the hive as you will need to put another box on top to allow for colony expansion. Also make sure that the bees don’t starve as some areas have limited nectar sources and you may have to feed them a two-part sugar syrup solution.
After the first transfer check the bees very 10-14 days to make sure they are expanding and brining in lots of pollen and nectar.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call me, if I don’t answer send me a text and I will call you back as soon as I can but please remember photos are always good as I need to see what you see in order for me to accurately help you.
Enjoy the new hive, and your colony of bees.
15 Marilyn Court