Topic Seven - Your First Hive - How to Get Started

Objectives
  1. To understand what a nucleus hive (nuc) is, and what makes a strong, good quality nuc
  2. To learn how to shift (move) a hive or nuc
  3. To learn how to expand a nuc into a hive
  4. To learn how to look for and find the queen in the hive.
  5. To understand the importance, and begin the practise, of taking notes at the hive (record keeping)
  6. To review the kinds of bees and their life stages
  7. To recognize the difference between a strong and a weak beehive

Key Words:

Nuc or Nucleus Hive – a small hive that usually has 4 frames of bees and brood, and a queen. It is what most people start with when they begin keeping bees.

Brood Pattern - the shape or the pattern of brood where the queen lays her eggs. There should not be too many empty cells in the brood area. A hive that has a young healthy queen will have a good, full brood pattern.

Spotty Brood Pattern – A brood pattern that has many empty cells where the queen has not laid eggs. This can mean you have a poor, old, or failing queen.

Weak Hive – A beehive that has a small number of worker bees with only a few flying in and out of the hive entrance, and only a few frames covered with bees and brood.

Strong Hive – A beehive that has a large number of worker bees. A strong hive will have many bees flying in and out of the entrance, and many frames covered with bees and brood.

Queen right – when a hive has a queen that is laying eggs. You can tell that a hive is queen right if you see eggs in the hive. If you see the queen, but don’t see any eggs then the hive is not queen right.


iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson

What does a strong, good quality nucleus have in it?

iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
Why should you wait until after dark before you close a hive to move it?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
Why must you move a hive only a very small distance (less than 1 metre) or a very long distance (more than 2 kilometres)?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
When is it time to transfer your nuc into a standard hive box?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
How do you know if your hive is strong?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
Where is the queen in the hive?
iDevice icon Reflection: Questions for students to think about during the lesson
What are some of the things that you should write in your record book?
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