What is the best way of moving a 5 frame nuc into a Warre should one be purchased?
Make a bigger warre!!
You could make a box to sit on top of a Warré which will hold 8 National frames, but you will need a suitable quilt and roof to fit. The grow down period can also take months and will not start until next spring…….
Some people may suggest cropping the combs to fit the Warré bars. This is messy and traumatic for the Bee -you are after all cutting pieces off the structure of the super-organism. In my experience the success of such an operation is less than 50:50.
I would not support any recommendation to buy bees this late in the season – a 5 frame nucleus would be hard pressed to build up sufficient stores to sustain it over winter.
If you wait until next spring you could prepare 2 Warré boxes as a bait hive to catch a swarm; or ask a natural beekeeper for a feral swarm or a swarm from a colony which has not been treated for varroa. John H Stockbridge.
Chop and crop seems to be commonly done in natural beekeeping. Phil Chandler is a big fan. So would you not do it for going from a National to a HTBH either?
If one has a mindset that the comb is just some arbitrary physical structure that can be cut at the beekeeper’s convenience, one might go down the chop and crop route. But if, as John says above, the comb is seen as part of the organism that is the Bee (or as it is sometimes called, the Bien), one may take a different view. In this latter case, chopping and cropping to get the organism to fit the box seems like buying an undersized jacket and then shortening one’s arms to make it fit. 😉
Hmmm pretty sure Phil Chandler isn’t a ‘fan’ of it. He says it is a way of converting from national to top bar hive. What hr suggests is inserting top bars between the national frames and transfering or making a converting hive. I recommend not trying to do anything until next spring. Cut a piece of ply wood as a ‘convertor’ between the top of the nuc and the bottom of the warré. Then in early spring when the dandelions bloom and there is minimal brood shake all of the bees you can into the warré. The place the nuc underneath with a queen excluder between the two. Make sure you get the queen in the top warré box. Most of the bees will cluster up top and make comb for the queen to lay in. Some nurse bees will move down to look after the small amount of brood. 3 weeks later remove the nuc box and the queen excluder and put you next warré box underneath.
If one wishes to be truly bee-centred, the real answer, as John says above, is to respect the Bee’s natural processes. Be patient and wait for a swarm, which is the natural way in which the Bee reproduces. Forget nucs. These are artificial creations that depend on the Bee’s ability to repair itself when subject to the trauma of being split into two and are about as far from natural as one can get.
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