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Thread: Mating Nucs

  1. #1
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    I just got done reading Roger Morse (sp?) book on queen rearing and he mentioned that he uses a 5 frame nuc for his mating hive.

    He also recomends (cant think of the name right now) the feeder that fits into the hive and replaces a frame.

    Any ideas?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
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    My favorite frame feeder would be the wood/masonite one from brushy mt. It actually takes one frame space and works pretty well. But I don't use any feeders in my two frame mating nucs. I put a frame of brood and a frame of honey in and the honey keeps them nourished. Feeding always seems to just put them at risk for being robbed. My favorite mating nucs are two medium frame nucs. I have split ten frame boxes into four of them before, but I think I'll start doing eight frame boxes into three of them instead. I've also split five frame boxes in half. Five frame nucs are nice if you have that many bees and brood to set up that many nucs. I have more than a hundred of them going at once sometimes. That would take five hundred frames of bees. Well if you put a frame feeder in it would take four hundred frames of bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    MB:

    Do you..or can you... use a following board to split a 10 frame into 5 - 2 frame nucs? or take a following board and use to make a 5 frame nuc a 2- 2 frame nuc?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  4. #4
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    Whose MB?

    If you asked me, which you didn't, I'd say you could if the entrances were isolated, you had oil cloth over each section and for what ever reason thought it wise to raise a bunch of 2 frame nucs.

  5. #5
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    >Do you..or can you...

    I've given some thought to splitting a shallow super into 4 2-frame nucs using follower boards, with the center 2 nucs having entrances on either end and the 2 outside nucs having entrances on either side. Squeezing 5 would be problematic I think, where would you put the entrance?

    I'll probably just stick with 2 5-framers in a shallow super- less confusion I think. I'm also planning on building some 2 frame nucs- I just happen to have a bunch of shallows with drawn comb so I thought I'd try it.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  6. #6
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    >Whose MB?

    I think MB is me.

    >can you... use a following board to split a 10 frame into 5 - 2 frame nucs?

    Some people do. I've tried it without any luck. In my experience the bees always find a 1/6" hole or larger somwhere in the bad fit of the follower and make it to the other side and kill that queen. So I notch them to get a tight fit. I cut a 3/8" deep by 3/4" wide notch front and back and put a divider in that goes into the notch. I also put a piece of canvas stapled on the dividers to make cloth "inner covers" that I can peal back one at a time to examine them. Otherwise they start spilling over to the next nuc when inspecting.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    what do you think about beeworks mating hive?

    http://beeworks.com/usacatalog/items/item112.htm
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  8. #8
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    It's one of the styrofoam baby nucs. The only three problems with them are:

    1) how to get them started
    2) how to expand if the queen fills them out and you don't have a place forher yet
    3) and what to do with the brood in them at the end of the season

    The big advantages is you can make a mating nuc with a handful of bees, so it takes less resources.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
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    Michael:

    I would love to build a mating nuc or device one out of what I have but at this time, I do not have the resources (building tools) to do so.

    I do have, of course, deeps, westerns, inncovers, outter covers and bottomboards not to mention nucs.

    So with that said, what is the easiest way to create mating nucs?

    as mentioned before and as I see now, it does take a lot of 5 frame nucs to raise queens.

    Do you know of anyone that carries 2 frame nuc boxes??
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  10. #10
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    I have 5 or so nucs. I would love to make them into 2 frame mating hives. Is this possible? All I can think of is using a following board.

    I am trying to work within what I currently have. I did find 2 frame nuc grom better bee at 17 per nuc.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  11. #11
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    chef you could use the following board and have an opening on oppisite ends for the ladies to fly out of

  12. #12

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    >>>I would love to build a mating nuc or device one out of what I have but at this time, I do not have the resources (building tools) to do so.>>>

    Hey Chef"
    If you can draw out what your wanting or email me a picture I can build you a few, I have a small wood working shop and stuff like that is fun to build.

  13. #13
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    First you need to decide what you want. Do you want a baby nuc? This can be easily made from all kinds of scrap lumber because it only needs to be about four by four by four and only needs top bars. You could even buy small, cheap styrofoam coolers and put top bars in them by cutting notches for the top bars on 1 1/4" or 1 3/8" centers. The problem of starting is that you have no comb yet and a handful of bees doesn't really have the resources to build a lot of comb nor the motivation without a lot of feeding and a queen.

    If you want the size frames you use in your brood nest to solve the problems of starting (because you just give them a frame of brood and a frame of honey) then splitting a nuc seems like a plan. I just haven't had luck with keeping the two sides seperate with a follower board. I have had good luck with a divider in a groove. If you use 1/4" luan for the divider, then you can use two saw blades to cut the groove, or, if you have a steady enough hand, just make two cuts to get it wide enough. Or go to a construction site and find the scrap lumber to build one. Or, if you have enough nucs, just do the follower board and leave the other side empty. That way you don't care if a bee finds its way over there now and then.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
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    I've seen one guy use a pierco plastic frame that has been caulked instead of a follower board. The nuc can get stronger. The thing I do not like with 5 frame nucs is that it takes a lot of bees to raise 1 queen. A strong double can get split into 6 at best to get queens. If you use a mini nuc you can stock 40 of them with the adult bee population from that same double. This is by far more advantageous if the intent is to raise queens for sale. If on the other hand you wish to use those queens for increases the 5 frame nuc is great. Once it is made up and the queen is laying your increase hive is going. You do not have to pull the queen and introduce her to your split. At this point you run the risk of the queen being rejected. FWIW I much prefer 6 frame nucs for making increases. They set an extra frame of brood in the summer, which in turn allows them to have a bigger population going into winter. They also have one extra frame of food for winter. In your new area Chef, these 6 framers do much better in my experience.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #15
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    I've used a piece of 3/8" plywood as a follower board in a full size body. It was cut so it fit rather tight and just could be forced into place. It was cut so it stuck up from the top of the hive body 3/8" and two pices of 3/8" ply wood served as an inner cover, one on each side. It was crude but worked well and the plywood was free scrap.

    I do prefer 5 frame nucs myself for queen rearing due to the poor weather we can have when I start in the spring plus I typically let the queens lay for awhile before pulling them. Later in the year I make up the 5 frame nucs only with two frames of bees and it works well. I use undrawn plastic for the extra 3 frames and the nucs typically build it out very quickly mid summer and I end up splitting nucs to keep their population in check.

    -Tim

  16. #16
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    chef isaac ask:
    So with that said, what is the easiest way to create mating nucs?

    tecumseh replies:
    I utilize three types of mating nuc.

    1) baby nucs (illinois deep) about which michael bush has defined the pros and cons. at the end of the early spring I simply stack the frames back into supers (with a 1 1/4 inch board that provides a frame rest at the center of the super). a small quatity of brood on one frame seems to make the bees stick better initially and therefore enhances acceptance.

    2) old but usable deeps with follower board to divide deep into two four frame nucs. I attach a permanent bottom board (entrance at opposite ends) and use rigid foil backed foam board as the material for the follower board. I glue the rigid foam to the box.

    3) since I make up the great majority of my own boxs I accumulate small drops in the process. I utilize these to build single entity 4/5 frame mating nucs (deeps and illinois depths). these are also the standard style mating nuc used by b weaver in navasota. I typically use hive stands for my bees which stands in contrast to the weaver that typically affix short legs to their mating nucs (which are then placed directly on the ground).

  17. #17
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    <Or, if you have enough nucs, just do the follower board and leave the other side empty. That way you don't care if a bee finds its way over there now and then.>

    Worked for me. had plenty of boxes just sitting around. before i cut the plywood I made a cardboard model. Model worked so well I never got the plywood cut. thought they'd eat through it right away. Nope.

    While I don't advise such careless beekeeping, Do as i say, not as I do. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    Lot's of stuff works if you just give it a chance.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  18. #18
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    Small hives seem to over winter well even here in vt, as long as I baby sit them and feed alot.

  19. #19
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    When visiting the B.Weavers, they used tiny little 2-chambered boxes as breeding nucs. I dont' remember much, but I'm sure the frames were half as long at best. I don't remember how deep or how many frames. And there didn't seem to be 2 fists full of workers womaning the nuc.

    How do you get the comb drawn in such little frames since they won't fit in a full size hive? How many workers does it take to maintain a breeding nuc long enough to call it a success?

    Other tips on getting one going please. I'm more interested in the smallest possible rather then setting up a whole 5-frame nuc, thanks.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  20. #20
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    waya:

    To be honest with you, it is the cheapest and easiest way to go setting up nucs. I too ran into this problem when thinking of what I was going to use for a mating nuc. I bought a small baby mating nuc from a bee company that has like 4 small frames and a feeder. It is plastic. I havent used it yet.

    I would take a five frame nuc and use split it into a 2 frame and three frame mating nuc. You can use deeps or mediums.

    This way it gives you complete flexability with equipment.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

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