Is there an advantage to one over the other?
Not really. Just saves on a frame. I prefer 5 frame nucs as it gives an extra frame of honey for wintering or brooding in the summer.
If you buld your four frame nuc to be 8 1/8" wide then you can put two on side by side for a super and have lighter supers. If you add a center spacer down the middle of a bottom board the four frame nucs fit side by side on a standard bottom board. If you have a flat bottom inner cover you can screen the hole and use it on the two nuc and you can put a standard cover over the whole thing. I mostly use 5 frame nucs. I have made some fours and a three. It is nice to have one that seems to fit the purpose you have at the moment. I think the three is nice for a "mini" mating nuc or moving a few frames to an observation hive etc.
i use 5's,but have a 2 framer that really comes in handy alot.
Beegee, I didn't have a nucc, just brood boxes and frames. I created a "nucc" a little over a week ago. I put in a new queen, some brood open and sealed, some honey and pollen, some drawn comb and frames with no drawn comb. I filled the box with 10 frames. (I use what I have)
Then I put a super size on top with 4 frames, in the center of 10, of drawn comb. Then another deep to put the feeder in. Covered it. Done.
I guess I just don't understand the rational for creating a Nucc. So I created a hive of bees. They're doing well for one weeks progress. I checked after five days and the queen had worked like crazy to create her domain. It's doin well so far.
My question is, "how do I get bees from
another hive into her hive"?
I have a hive that could use thinning out. How do I get a couple thousand of these bees, and happily placed in this new "nucc"?
transfer some frames of sealed brood.
It takes a lot of energy and a lot of bees to control the humidity and temperature of a large space correct compared to controling the environment of a small space. A five frame nuc is easier for a small number of bees to maintain than a 10 frame box. Especially easier than a 10 frame box with a super on top. The purpose of a nuc is to limit the size of that space.
A pound of bees and a queen will establish themselves much quicker in a five frame nuc than in a 10 frame box. They will eventually succeed in both, but they will do better in the nuc. The contrast is even more obvious with a half pound of bees.
a nuc is easier for a weak hive to guard against waxmoths and robbers.
I'm going to have to add to their numbers asap.
I can do that, I think.
I have a couple of questions regarding nucs:
1) if one possibility is to put 2 small 4-frame nucs side by side on a bottom board, can one use a regular deep box, make a partition down the middle that completely separates 2 compartments all the way to the bottom board, make sure there are 2 entrances of course, and raise 2 groups of bees this way?
2) I have heard/read of wintering nucs. In the books I have I see no clear description of this and, frankly, I don't understand the logic. If one needs close to 100lbs of supplies for a hive to overwinter successfully (at least in the Northeast), how can a nuc (by definition tiny) make it? What am I missing here?
The first hives I bought were mediums that had been used for queen rearing and mating nucs, there are two grooves on the front and back of the inside of the boxes to allow dividers, creating three nucs, three frames each. I think the main reason nucs can overwinter is they have far fewer bees and less space to heat, thus far less feed is needed.
>1) if one possibility is to put 2 small 4-frame nucs side by side on a bottom board, can one use a regular deep box, make a partition down the middle that completely separates 2 compartments all the way to the bottom board, make sure there are 2 entrances of course, and raise 2 groups of bees this way?
Certainly. It's been done that way since at least CC Millers time in the 1800s. If you can build a tight enough frame to make a beeproof divider then you can do it that way. I've always had trouble getting it tight enough. The other option is to cut a groove with a couple of blades in a skill saw, or whatever, and put a 1/4" piece of laun plywood in for a partition. I have had better luck with this method. But I find a simple nuc is more convenient for me.
>2) I have heard/read of wintering nucs. In the books I have I see no clear description of this and, frankly, I don't understand the logic. If one needs close to 100lbs of supplies for a hive to overwinter successfully (at least in the Northeast), how can a nuc (by definition tiny) make it? What am I missing here?
As mentioned, less bees eat less stores. I put them in a 10 frame medium box over an inner cover with the notch (for the entrance for the nuc) and a double screen on the hole and put this over a strong hive. But still it takes a good five frames of bees to get through the winter at all, here. Any less and they won't make it.
Not to tell you something that you don't know already, but an old standby method for increasing bees in a hive is to switch its location with a stronger hive on a good flying day. The bees belonging to the strong hive will return to the weak hive. This is one method for "equalizing hive". However, it would mean that you would 1) have to have a nice day with bees flying and 2) be able to physically lift to switch the hives.
As for "dividing" a super into multiple nucs, I will agree with Micheal and direct you to Dave Cushman's website http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/natsplit.html
Remember, as Micheal discribed, to make sure bees cannot move between nucs either under or over the partitions.
I am going to go with the 4-frame nucs or some 4 and some 5 (which ever will fit on a regular super when side-by-side). I have been told that a "Snelgrove" board or similar divice can be used to stack nucs for wintering. This is why I would use this size.