It can be really cold up here in Northeast, last year was a killer. Is there anyone out-there that has experience with Beemax hives and nucs, and the minimum numbers of bees necessary, to keep it warm. My buddy says they open cluster in many of the Beemax nucs and Deeps, so they use more honey since they are active. But I thought they would also, need to produce less heat because of the high R of PS. I guess what I am trying to say, if I had a bunch of strong hives, could I split them in to 5 frame nucs with new Queens and get them through the winter in highly insulated hives, and what would by my minimum cutoff
for size or bee numbers?
I keep experimenting with overwitnering nucs. So far I've overwinter some 10 frame mediums hives with about five frames of bees. But I also lost a lot of them.
For a more sure thing you need a full deep box pretty much full of bees and stores (or two mediums). A double deep would be even better.
Some people have overwintered nucs successfully. The 5 frame sytrofoam nuc from Betterbee is made for that. I have one, but I only have medium frames, so I need to fill in the excess space with something. I was hoping to try it this year. I also bought four of the Beemax medium supers and lids to try. I can't say what I think of them yet.
Bjerm2 has some beemax hives and he overwinters nucs in the Northeast. Maybe he can help.
The gent who taught me winters over nucs with 2 nucs stacked on top of each other. He puts them against the south side of a building for a windbreak.
Problem is, we live in Kansas. We are likely SOUTH of you.
I am going to experiment. I hate giving them 60+lbs of food for winter. I want to see if insulation and less bees would
conserve stores. I have seen some feral
hives deep in trees and the some of the chambers are small.