View Full Version : Cheap matting nucs
03-01-2005, 10:13 AM
I wonder how can I make the cheapest possible matting nucs? Or by other word how can I make the cheapest possible two standard frames box which I can leave out door most of the summer?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
03-01-2005, 10:39 AM
Do you have old equipment (boxes)? Cut them down to 2 or 3 frames wide. Cut a top cover and bottom cover from a sheet of 1/4 inch plywood making sure that you over lap by about half an inch wider and longer, use some lath as the runners on the bottom board. It is just the right thickness for the bees to be able to use as an entrance. Give each 'hive' a frame of brood and shake 2 frames of adhering bees from the mother colony. After a few days give them all a queen cell and your good to go!
03-01-2005, 01:18 PM
Do what Dan suggests, I did.
I just knocked 10 nucs together, probably cost me $12 for the wood and a little more for the paint. I ripped some 1x8 pine to the heighth of a medium super, cut the ends wide enough to hold 2 medium frames plus 1 1/2 inches, then dadoed the ends to receive the sides and again on the top for the frames to rest. Then the sides are cut to length. Then ripped up 1/4 " plywood for the bottoms and tops, made the tops oversize and used the cutoffs from the 1/8 to make strips for the sides.
Then drilled 2 holes with a 7/8" bit, one top one bottom on one side. Easier if you predrill these before assembly. Stapled some screen on the top hole from the inside. Used scrap plywood screwed at the top so you can close off the entrance. I actually doubled up the tops. Used two oversize pieces of 1/4inch plywood glued and stapled to 1x1" edge strips in the middle. This should reduce warping and add a dead layer of air above to insulate from extreme temps. Then with the money I saved I bougth some nuc calendars (see for sale section).
03-01-2005, 02:19 PM
I built them as four by twos. Four two frame nucs in a 10 frame sized box. I built them from one by eights so they just need a piece of plywood for the bottom. I cut grooves for the dividers and put canvas inner covers on. I just stack them up like apartments and I only need one lid on the top one.
That's the cheapest because you share three walls.
But I also have built them as seperate ones or as doubles from five frame nucs.
This is an assortment from 2 frames to 10 frames.
03-02-2005, 06:34 AM
Just like a beekeeper. Gets in a hurry and doesn't paint his boxes. I think the pot is calling the kettle black. smile.gif
03-02-2005, 08:01 AM
I decided the painted ones lasted 30 years. I'd like to see how long the unpainted ones last. I don't need them to last another 30 years. It's doubtful I'll be able to lift them then. smile.gif Think of all the hours I save not painting them!
03-03-2005, 07:34 PM
Large styrofoam cups
I like 3 frame nucs. I made mine from 3/8 plywood for the sides, used 3/4 plywood in the front and backs, made small migratory (style) top covers, used 8 mesh screen for the bottoms, and used 3/4 strips of pressure treated for the bottom runners. You must paint them, being plywood, but if you scrounge around construction sites, you may be able to find scrap wood for a nuc or 2 here or there. I have about 25 in various sizes. I have 3,4, and 5 frame nucs for different purposes. I also did what the other guys stated above, but I find it much easier to move separate boxes, for different applications.
I also have 1/2 deep frame nucs, that are 2 frame side by side boxes. It only takes 1000 bees in those, but they are only for mating purposes. They work ok, and the bees draw the comb very well, when the frame is put together as a single, in a regular colony.
Anyway, use scrap wood wherever possible when experimenting, and when you get a design that works well for you, invest into quality wood and paint, so it lasts along time.
03-06-2005, 02:15 PM
Styrofoam beer cooler with a dowel for a frame rest. It leaves empty spaces, so you'll have to watch they don't get strong enough to build extra combs.
03-16-2005, 06:05 AM
magnet-man - none of the links on that site you quoted seem to work. I just get 'page not available'.