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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Question

    If you had a choice as to over-wintering a standard 10 frame deep hive, or a five frame nuc stacked two high, which would you prefer? Taking into account feeding ease, strength, and all else being the same.

    Would there be an advantage of combining two nucs into a deep or just stacking the two nucs on top of each other? Assuming one queen was going to be used for another hive, thus leaving one.

    And taking into account feeding and other tangibles, would anything else help or hurt one way over the other?

    Thank you.

    "isn't it great that we were all made differently. That way when we open our eyes, we all aren't the same." - (unknown idiot, but rumored to be anti-communist and anti-socialist)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
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    378

    Post

    One large cluster of bees probably has a better chance of survival way up where you are. But down South, I'd rather have the two nucs separately... so I'd have two hives come spring. The advantage of having two nucs, however, would be that you could stack one nuc on top of the other, and that would keep both warmer than if they were apart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Post

    Thanks curry.
    I'm not sure if I was clear. In both cases you would have one queen and ten frames of bees/brood/food. One in a standard hive ten deep across, and the other would be two, five frame nucs, one sitting on top of the other. Would there be any advantages of one set-up over the other?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Post

    I would use the 2 nuc boxes stacked because the cluster can move vertical easier than it can move side ways.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    In a cold climate,I would opt for a standard deep,having only 2 frames on the outside walls.Two 5 frame boxes would have 4 frames on outside walls

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,071

    Post

    I prefer wintering nucs in 10 frame single deeps. I place my 5 frame nucs into Deeps in July to give them time to build up stores. The cluster will tend to go from itÂ’s center position across frames, occasionally hugging the sunny side of the box consuming stores and sometimes isolate itself from stores on the other side. Heavy nucs will generally stay centered having enough stores and I generally have no problem with isolation in them. A strategy for wintering nucs in singles is to move the cluster to one end in the fall so it will consume right across the 10 frames and no lessen the chance of the need to go in the colony in February to rearrange stores.

    --Taking into account feeding ease, strength, and all else being the same.

    Feeding ease certainly would be easier in a 10 frame deep because you can immediately identify the cluster position during quick cool weather inspections and position honey frames against the cluster if need be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Edmonton AB Canada
    Posts
    705

    Post

    That got me thinking....just going to buy boxes and first I wanted to go with all medium sizes, but up here North, the regular is a standard deep.....isn't this better to have for better survival rate?
    They say, you need two deeps going into the Winter...so if you had med. size, do you have to go with 3 boxes?? ....Don't you think, I'm better off, by just going with all deep ones?
    Konrad
    Grow shrubs & trees,...it's good for bees!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    Since, a cluster does not heat the hive, they only keep the cluster warm, the additional surface area of the extra box, does not have a negative effect.
    However, (2) Nuc boxes stacked and wrapped for winter would have twice the solar gain of a single box.
    Cold alone is not what kills a hive. Cold combined with losing touch with food stores will. Communication and movement is easier if the cluster can move vertical.
    If a cluster is located in a single box and centered, when the cluster moves to one side to get food stores, one side of this cluster has just lost touch with their food stores.
    There is now wall of empty comb between the cluster and any remaining stores on the far side of the box.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,131

    Post

    I can't say I've got the hang of overwintering nucs, but I'm going to try the two five frame box approach this next winter. The 10 frame and 8 frame weren't working that well. I'm thinking it's harder for them to get lost and not find stores when they are hemmed in on the sides. The only place to go is up.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
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    2,264

    Post

    My vote is with MountainCamp's answer.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I overwintered three of four nucs. The one that died out was very weak and sat on top of a strong nuc seperated by a feeder with another feeder on top. They possibly might have succomed to being trapped, not knowing or being able to find a way out.

    My nucs are mediums except for two of them that are deep boxes on bottom with medium frames in one and a ferral dome I found on the ground in the other. (see web site picture) The third is all mediums but perhaps should not be called a nuc as it was at one time last year seven boxes high and gave me three nuc boxes of honey. It was reduced to three boxes for winter and is still going strong.

    The two smaller ones are wintering in smaller numbers, now in two and three boxes, each with a feeder. I was thinking last weekend when I was going through them, how much more natural they seemed, more like being in a tree, being tall and thin.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
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    2,069

    Post

    Sign me up for the 2- 5-frame nuc boxes. It think it is easier for the bees to go straight up then to go from side to side.

    Dan
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    4,074

    Post

    OK: this is a way out there thought, but i'll air it out and see what everyone thinks. I have a rather large sugarhouse/honeyhouse, and I am just getting back into beekeeping after 11 years of being on the sidelines. I am getting ten swarms this year and would like to split for increase for next season (06). What would happen if I split my ten hives in Aug/Sept into nucs, and then allowed them to overwinter in a heated room in the sugarhouse/honeyhouse. What problems would this create/solve? Would they have enough time to get a queen laying to keep the population up enough to make it through a winter? At what tempiture would they become to active, or would they cluster instintively through winter? I plan on having a vent to the outside for each nuc, what would be the best way to achive this? Would it be better to have them in one standred size nuc (5 frame) or two nucs stacked on top of each other? Thanks.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Post

    For the last 3 years I have overwintered 5 frame nuc's dbl stacked with an internal feeder in the top box. The main thing to make sure is that they are packed with honey or syrup. They do move better vertically but if you have a large number of flying days during the winter they will also use up their stores quicker.(reason for the feeder) I also overwinter one story 5 frames but the only ones that seem to survive are the Carniolans;the Itallians can't make it.I average +/- 30% loss in overwintered nucs. You do have to keep an eye on them. Single stories run up to 50% loss in a good winter.
    Frank Wyatt

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,131

    Post

    > i'll air it out and see what everyone thinks...

    All I can say is if you don't have a system that you already know works for overwintering nucs in your climate, trying to overwinter them is an experiment. I have not figured out a really goood way yet, here. So far I lose about half or more of the nucs over winter.

    IMO, unless you have queens from local stock you want to overwitner, I'd overwinter them as hives and split them in the spring with new purchased queens.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,071

    Post

    My vote is with Magnet-Man's answer.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    Anybody read Kirk Webster's articles in the Bee Mags.Check out his nuc pictures.Two nucs in a standard deep divided by a 2 chamber division board feeder.I hear he has Varroa tolerant bees.

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