I cleaned out the NUC got rid of two frames the bees didn't seem to like and replaced with new ones. We still have a queen, it looks like there are more bees, and they filled one new frame with brood and honey. It looks like they started on the other frame (north side) but not much there.

We just can seem to get a handle on the beetle problem. I think part of,the problem is the NUC. So we are wondering if we should/could go ahead and put them into a hive, we have the screened bottom board that may help and have ordered traps. The wintergreen EO helps keep them down but I ran out (waiting on order now. Is there anything else I should be doing...any other suggestions for maybe outside the hive to help.

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John, could you post some pictures?  I am having a difficult time visualizing what is going on in your Nuc box.

How many frames are in the box?  It is a 5 frame box, correct?  Are they deep frames?  Is there foundation or drawn comb?  

If you put 1 or 2 frames of bees in a nuc box with 3 or 4 empty frames of drawn comb you are going to end up with lots of places for HB to hide and multiply.  Additionally, if there is only 1 or 2 frames of bees in a 5 frame Nuc and the other 3 or 4 frames are drawn out comb but no bees in or on it the wax moths are going to move in.

Where is the hive placed?  How close to the ground and how many hours of sun does it get daily?

There are 5 frames, foundation, we see brood and honey, little pollen, as of three days ago we saw the queen, and baby bees...three weeks ago I took out two old frames they would not seem to go near and replaced them with new ones...they have started building on one of them but not the one on the north side. They get full sun from about 6 or 7 am to 5pm and it is up on cinder blocks. I think there was 2 frames of bees when we won the NUC.

We have new hives with the wire screen with a plastic insert, was told we could put oil on it and the beetles would fall through and get stuck. That's why I was wondering when we could move them, thought it might be easier to control the beetles
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2 frames of bees are not enough to start a hive.  Additionally, have you been feeding them? IF you are confident enough in your knowledge, don't want to mistakenly take the queen, you could augment the nuc with a couple of frames from other hives.

The SHB are a sign the hive is weak.  Moreover, I don't think a single cement block is far enough off the ground.  It enables the SHB easier access.

You are Learning in the best way possible, experience.


Johnnie Keating said:

There are 5 frames, foundation, we see brood and honey, little pollen, as of three days ago we saw the queen, and baby bees...three weeks ago I took out two old frames they would not seem to go near and replaced them with new ones...they have started building on one of them but not the one on the north side. They get full sun from about 6 or 7 am to 5pm and it is up on cinder blocks. I think there was 2 frames of bees when we won the NUC.

We have new hives with the wire screen with a plastic insert, was told we could put oil on it and the beetles would fall through and get stuck. That's why I was wondering when we could move them, thought it might be easier to control the beetles
There are 4 frames now... that was a picture from three weeks ago. Should I buy more bees and add them to the NUC with my currant Queen?
I am also trying to get trays made that are like the Freeman beetle trap ( a tray that fits under the screen that you fill with oil and the beetles are supposed to fall into it and drown) theirs are made only for the Freeman hive so they are to large to work with the Langstroth. Also having SFBS bring some of their traps up on Friday
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If you have other strong hives you can take a frame of brood and put it in the nuc.  Feeding them might also help them grow.  

Johnnie Keating said:

There are 4 frames now... that was a picture from three weeks ago. Should I buy more bees and add them to the NUC with my currant Queen?
Nope they are all I have. Saturday my husband will be home and we can take all the frames out at once and clean it out again. Three weeks ago it was a little ambitious of me to do it alone.

Hopefully SFBS will return my call or email about my order before Friday.

I would not take it "apart" and clean it.

Each time you open the hive you are stressing the bees.

 Are you feeding them?  If not then put a jar of sugar syrup on them.

A strong hive will take care of the SHB on its own.  

Gloria, At SFBS is a terrific person.   If she has not called you back it is because she either did not get the message or she is really, really busy.

Yes, we are feeding them and since we started 3-4 weeks ago they have expanded, so we will keep doing what we are doing with the EO and squishing. Will also raise them up higher.

When should we move them to a 10 frame hive?

When all five frames are FULL on both sides and teeming with bees.  It should be difficult if not impossible to see the bottom of the box when looking between the frames. And not one minute sooner.

Ok 1 1/2 frames to go..thanks for all your advise.

Just an update. The beetles seem to be under control now. We raised the NUC up another cinder block height, and use the Wintergreen EO (3 drops, no more, no less on a bar coaster) . We should be ready to move them into their new hive the next time we have a day off together. 

We are planning on using our own version of the Freeman SHB oil trap just as a precaution 

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