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  • How early to relocate nuc?

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #10102  by rjt88
 26 Feb 2021, 01:27
I'm giving away an overwintered poly nuc to a friend, who is now waiting to receive them. When the bees are relocated, they'll stay in their polynuc for a few weeks to acclimatise and all the usual relocation things. My question is whether, given seasonal forage levels etc., there is a best/worst time to relocate, and particular whether now (late Feb) is too early and if we should wait until... when? We're in Cheshire. Any advice gratefully received.
 #10103  by Patrick
 26 Feb 2021, 12:35
Welcome to the Forum rjt88

Lucky friend. We have several Forumites closer to you who will give better local advice on timings than me from down in the South West.

How far away is your friend going to keep them? As long as it is over, say, a couple of miles and they are not going to be tempted to "fly home", I would disperse overwintered nucs from say mid March onwards. I wouldn't leave it in the nuc too many weeks tbh, but aim to move them into a full hive as soon as weather allows.

Assuming the beekeeper is a beginner, a thing to watch for with over wintered nucs is suddenly exploding in numbers or the combs becoming clogged with an unexpected early flow, leading to sudden early congestion swarm as soon as you get a warm weather spell. This can also be caused by the laudable wish to feed your new bees. Better to hive an overwintered nuc a bit too early than a bit too late :) !
 #10104  by AdamD
 26 Feb 2021, 13:34
Subject to distance, they can be moved at any time. Bees will re-orientate to their new location within a few flying hours. The colony will build up quicker in a polynuc but as Patrick has mentioned, colonies are preparing to expand rapidly, so don't be caught out. Colonies can also run out of food in spring as they are expending a lot of energy keeping the brood nest at 35C and so stores can get depleted quite quickly.
 #10107  by NigelP
 27 Feb 2021, 09:01
As the above...they can be moved any time. It's not really weather dependant,, but perhaps best moved on medium warm day when they are not tightly clustered.
This time of year little chance of them remembering where home is as long as moved a mile or two.
 #10108  by Patrick
 27 Feb 2021, 11:48
Yes, the opposite point about the risk of starvation is also very true😁!

It’s why I would personally wait a bit to pass on an overwintered nuc to a new beginner, until I know they will have got over the worst.