Are these two story Doubles in deep hive bodies wintered on production colonies. Or are they stand alone five frame nuc boxes stacked two deep wintered on their own stands? Or are they two story double nucs.
Two story, 4 frame doubles wintering on stands.
MP: i am fascinated by the thought of overwintering in nucs. i am in upstate ny but right on the pa border. i just made up a few mating nucs out of 10 frame medium boxes..spilt into 4 sections though i'm finding that i don't like the 2 frame set up so i am using 4 frames each side. anyway, how would i make this a 2 story set up for overwintering? i cut the grooves into the box and have luan panels that stick up from the top for the separate tops. i'm just having a hard time envisioning how to make this 2 story. do you have any pics you could share so i can see your set up? i sure would appreciate it. thanks!
I have not perfected the art of posting photos here yet, but here is a link to some photos. I can take a few more that show how the divider sticks up a bit if you want... but as I said, has not created any problems.
In this photo you can see the lime green shim on one side which brought the top box up over the level of that little bit of divider sticking out. I have found the shim was totally unnecessary. Now that I look at this photo, above the shim is actually the cover to the bottom nuc on that side and the top box is an entirely separate nuc. You get the idea hopefully...
Nuc box with 4 frame supers above nuc.
My comfort level in having a divided box is low. Overwinter I made 18 individual 5 frame boxes. At the time of writing I have a group of 4 and a group of 5 double story nucs. We are just about to go into Goldenrod bloom. When I come back from vacation in two weeks I plan to weigh them, and feed to a wintering weight. When the weather gets cold, probably around Thanksgiving I plan to push the group of four together and the group of five together and insulate them.
Some have upper entrances some have lower entrances. I may leave it that way and see what happens. Kirk Webster, another nuc. proponent has a website with links to his writings; He says that the upper ventilations keeps the dead-outs dryer and the combs in better condition, but stops short of saying that upper ventilation increases winter survival.
Working with nucs this summer has been fascinating. I am hopeful that with luck some will survive until spring. Last year I had one side of a divided nuc survive overwinter despite the bitter cold. If I am lucky enough to have half of these survive I will have enough bees not to have to buy packages in the spring.
thank you for posting pictures!
I think an upper entrance is critical and increases winter survival. Not sure if Kirk has mentioned the icicles hanging out the bottom entrance in nucs without upper entrances but I know we both had that issue. Way too wet inside the nuc with no upper. My photo doesn't show the auger hole I use...these nucs don't have one yet. I drill a 3/4" auger hole just above the hand hold and below the ears on the top bars. No more moisture problem.
i found these links last night. the second link has a video presentation given by MP about overwintering nucs. enjoy!
i sort of overwintered a nuc last yr. i had a great little swarm from July that was building like crazy and then it went through a torrential downpour we had and mostly all the bees drowned.(i found out then how having an upper and lower entrance was a must!) anyway, my hubby and i had built an ob hive that summer so i put them in there with 3 combs of honey and 1 brood and the other mostly empty. they did great over the winter and didn't really want any sugar water. it was great seeing what they were doing all the time too!
Mike, Kirk mentioned the icicles. He wrote that it was disconcerting, but didn't affect survival - it only affected the quality of combs on nucs that died out. Your advice has served me well in the past, so I think I'm going to drill me a few holes.
With the two story nucs do you have a goal weight going in to winter? How do you gauge that the two story has enough stores?
and Part 2
A shout out also needs to go our video volunteer extraordinaire Paul Oman of the Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association for taping this in high definition and superimposing the slides to make it easier for all to see.
Thanks for taking the time to post all the great info.
I am in upstate NY catskill mountains, is it to late to start Nucs to over winter
I have a couple of weaker hives that I could split
I was on the website and nothing played on the video when I clicked one to play. Is there something I need to download?
I think it's too late to make nucs in the Catskills.
I'm going to be overwintering some nuc's also this year. I also have 2 hives that aren't out of 1 deep yet. Do you think that it's better to go vertical or to leave them in the deep? Is it better to winter a nuc in a stack, or to leave them in a full 10 frame deep? What's the benefit on both sides?
I might have got lucky , but I overwintered a hive in a 5 Frame single story styrofoam nuc box last winter and it was one of my best hives this year
One hive was a swarm from late june. I fed for a while and then stopped for fear of them being fed too much. They have built up well, but aren't out of a deep.
The other hive was a cut-out that I did where the queen didn't make it. I requeened w/ a queen from Ga. by the end of April. The original bees from the cut-out were old and it took a bit to get them going again, but I think now they're doing well it's just that initial set back put them back a bit. This hive has just about filled the deep and I put a nuc box on top of them to give them room to continue to build in the last month or so and during the fall flow. I guess I'll just have to see how things go. Is there anything specific that you'd do in these situations?
I just watched the second part of Mike's Vimeo presentation. My question is about the upper entrance, I drilled the 3/4 inch holes; Does it have to be on the opposite side to the bottom entrance? Mine are on the same side at the moment, and the top entrance is closed because I'm feeding. Do I need to reverse the top box 180 degrees, or is it OK to keep the entrances on the same side? I wasn't going to open the top entrance until I'm done feeding. Conceptually, I struggle with ventilation versus draught.