I know a lot of people have standardized on the medium depth for brood and supers. I am caving to pressure from all sides to do so.
My question is for anyone raising queens using 6 5/8" for brood. What do you use for nucs? 5 frames of deep = 7.5 frames of mediums, so I would think 5 frames might be a bit shy. A ten frame box could only be 2.5 frames more than the 7.5. Would a ten frame medium box work for a nuc or does it need to be more tall and less wide? I see Brushy Mountain, who seem to like the all medium setup, has a double high five frame nuc in 6 5/8". Does anyone think it matters whether the 10 frames are in one box or stacked in nucs to make two stories?
I never tried it with mediums. If you are talking about a mating nuc, you only need a cupful of bees. Once you put her in there, you should start to see eggs in about 10 days. After that, its up to you. I use a nuc as a starter box, they are deep frames, and 5 of them, but at least 2 are food, one for the cell bar frame, and an extra. I was thinking of building a 4 frame starter actually. The main thing I found, is it has to be overcrowded to start them. You will get more acceptance that way. I have used various amounts of bees, and acceptance rates were 10% to about 81% the last time.
It is also important, if you are grafting not to scrape the bottom of the original cell, and clean your tool everytime you move a larvae. I did not do that in the beginning, but I did not take a class, I did it blind. I know one thing though, this year I will have good queens. The end of last year, I had a really good one. She was better than anything I ever bought!
I've raised queens for three years now and have been using single mediums divided into two compartments for my mating nucs. As the season gets into full swing, you will need to keep an eye on them so they don't overcrowd. This is where you have the opportunity to make splits. I've found that the best "bee generators" are my mating nucs. They also do a fantastic job of drawing comb for my supers (as long as they are free of brood,of course).
This year, I am going to try deeps divided into two compartments, just to standardize. It will be easier when making splits from my colonies in the Spring and won't take as long to establish as the mediums. I am wintering one colony this year in only a single medium. Last year I did the same with great results, but it was an unusually warm winter. This year, however, will be different. I'm starting a new thread on the queen forum about selecting for hygenic queens. Come join the discussion.
Anyone use medium nucs for overwintering? I have alwaysed used deeps (probably always will). How do you set up medium nucs for wintering? I'll store the info away to pass on to others that are interested in the future. Thanxs.
I haven't overwintered in a medium nuc, but was considering the possibility. I think, though, I'll just use double screen boards between single ten frame boxes instead. I was hoping to do splits in the summer or fall, get them established enough to get through the winter and sell them as nucs in the spring. That way there would be some early brood and they should produce the first year.
Maybe you could do nucs with double screens between them vertically and butt them up horizontally so it's kind of a bee condiminium to keep them all warm. It might help a lot to do this on top of a good strong hive. maybe one of my double brood chamber kind of hives with several four frame nucs on top might work.
I'm not sure how well they will cluster in one 10 frame medium box. You'd think they'd do better with a more round cluster which would pretty much reqiure at least two medium depth boxes.
If it weren't for standardization, I'd be tempted to do two 8 frame boxes for a small hive to overwinter. That way it would still be kind of small, but be closer to the same width and depth.
Just my thoughts about it. I'm not sure what I'll do yet, but would love to hear more from people who have tried similar things.