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Honeybees Rogue FarmsRogue Farms knows bees and will soon be building more nucs to add more colonies to increase honey production.

Nuc is beekeeping slang for nucleus, a small group of workers, drones, a new queen and a mini-hive with enough food and brood to get them started on becoming their own colony.

Beekeepers buy nucs to add more colonies and increase honey production. Or they may build a nuc from one of their current colonies. This splits the hive and prevents swarming.

Either way, the key to a successful nuc is making sure the new queen gets along with the workers before she’s introduced. A special device, called a queen excluder, separates the queen from the rest of the hive until it’s clear that everyone is getting along.

Rogue Grows Bees

Good signs:

–      The workers are feeding the new queen through the excluder.

Bad signs:

–      The workers are trying to kill the new queen – also known as balling the queen.

–      The workers are producing emergency queen cells, which means they’ve rejected the new queen and want to produce one of their own.

Whether a nuc is a success or a failure should be obvious in about eight days. After that it’s okay to remove the excluder. And then after about a month, the new colony can be moved out of the mini-hive and into a regular one and begin foraging and producing honey.

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