are you having to feed them because it is warmer because of the heater? Are they flying more than your other hives?
>I think I had a good idea the other day. I want to make up some mini mating nucs to be used during the summer. The size of the frames would be half of a regular one. I would modify a regular box so 20 frames would fill up one regular deep. Three or four frames would make up one mating nuc.
Two will do. Others have tried it. Dave Cushman hinges them in the middle so you can fold it up to make two short ones or straighten it and make one long one. I just use two regular mediums, but then mine are all mediums anyway.
>My thinking is late fall I could cage the Queens combine my five or six nucs into one regular box and over winter that way.
It might work.
>It seems I should add alot more Queens and heat to make it more worth while. I like the idea of being able to combine the resources of the nucs with regular hives and then spliting them up again when I want.
Which is why I like using regular mediums. I put a frame of brood and a frame of honey in a two frame nuc and I've got a mating nuc.
>Another idea was to make bottom boards that where also feeders. I can't claim this to be all my idea. A local beekeeper raises some early nucs and he feeds them by flooding the bottom of the boxes. It works very well for him.
I keep intending to try it. But When I've built those kinds of bottoms they end up full of water from condensation in the winter. That worries me a bit. But maybe it would work well in summer. I just give the mating nucs a frame of honey for food and don't bother to feed.
>I should of given them full frames of honey rather then try to feed them late into the fall.
That seems to work well. But feeding all winter with a bit of heat to help might work better. I'm trying that this year.
With only two frames per mating nuc even I could find the queen quickly.
The flooded floor nuc boxes that I've seen used are used for a short time in the spring so yes condensation could be a problem.
I thought to use a piece of clear plastic tubing coming out of the bottom of the nuc through the insulation and make a loop back up. I would use it for feeding without disturbing the bees and to monitor syrup levels. Left hanging it could act as a drain or do you think it would become an entrance? I guess you could cover it with a screen if it became a problem.
What about a small hole near the top to act as a vent?