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Thread: Mating Nucs

  1. #21
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    Osceola, Iowa south central of state
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    Why can't you just use a 5 frame nuc but only put in 2 frames? That way you can have all nucs the same size, yet get the advantage of 2 - 3- 4 or 5 nucs? Seems reasonable to me. No fallow boards, not exrta boxes, Just empty space by the frames.

    Bill

  2. #22
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    >Why can't you just use a 5 frame nuc but only put in 2 frames?

    Too much empty space is hard on a small number of bees. I have a lot of five frame ones divided in half to make two two-frame mating nucs.

    Two medium frames isn't many bees and you don't have to fight with getting them to draw combs for the mating nucs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
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    I built alot of different style nuc boxes last spring. I used two basic styles, a single five frame stand alone, and a two five frame nuc in a standred deep body. The single five frame I put a solid bottom on, the double I put a full sbb (actually, I stapled the screen onto the bottom, and then placed cleats on to set it up off the ground). Both worked well. But the sbb double nuc did much better over the single. I orginally built two seperate migiatory covers, one for each side, then I also tried one big cover that covered both sides. I didn't place in the canvas inner covers as MB suggested. Keep in mind these covers just sat on top of the box. I didn't have any real problems with bees spilling over while inspecting them. But in retrospect, I was proably just lucky, and canvas inner covers are a good idea. Based on my experiments last summer, installing follower boards, if done properly, should work. Having a groove for them to slide in would be nice, be at times is just not doable. I would suggest putting screening on the bottom, stapled to the follower board, and having added cleats to hold it off the ground, I also had hive stands to set these on. If you use inner canvas covers as MB suggests, then you could even use the regular telescoping cover. Just some thoughts, sorry so long winded.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  4. #24
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    Ok, say I take and divide a 5-frame nuc, provide entrances for each compartment and deal with any security/ vandalism concerns...

    How do I finish the set up? I'm guessing the frame that contains the queen-cell(s) and another frame. What should it contain? mostly stores? capped brood?

    Any good reading material in your arsenal for this?

    Waya (who wished he had paid better attention in class, but didn't because I never thought I would care to breed)
    WayaCoyote

  5. #25
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    Apr 2005
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    wayacoyote sezs:
    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

    tecumseh replies:
    as to your first question see my comment 1) above. with baby nuc frames the end bars are standard and the tops and bottoms of the brames are simply scraps of 1" board (I want to say the top bar is 9 and 1/4 "), which I could check if you should so need. ideally 18 baby nuc frames fits in an illinois deep. if you place this in a good strong hive the bees will pull it out nicely and likely add one long natural build comb on the bar that sets in the middle of the super. I rubber band this comb into two empty half frames when I get ready to make up baby nucs (so a good hive will yield 20 usable baby nuc frames).

    It usually takes about a pea can (for you yankee types that is not the same as a pecan) of bulk bees to make up these small mating colonies. one frame added to the nuc with some brood will help the bees stick to this small box. I ideally like to make these baby nuc a day ahead of queen cells, since a random number will 'blow out' in the process. a short stop along the way in the frig (4 to 6 hrs) also seems to decrease 'blow outs

  6. #26
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    >Ok, say I take and divide a 5-frame nuc, provide entrances for each compartment and deal with any security/ vandalism concerns...

    A canvas inner cover stapled down the middle is a good idea to keep them from spilling over when you open them up.

    >How do I finish the set up? I'm guessing the frame that contains the queen-cell(s) and another frame. What should it contain? mostly stores? capped brood?

    I'm doing the Jenter system. I have queen cells. So I put a frame of brood and bees and a frame of honey and bees in the nuc, wait over night and add the queen cell (of course you have to time setting it up so you're putting it in on the 14th day.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #27
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    tecumseh,
    If I follow what you're saying,
    you make half-frames up, and run a cross peice half way through the hive to be the center support.

    how deep are these hive bodies/ frames?

    Do you make them up a day ahead of Starting queen cells, or a day a head of adding the mature (capped) queen cells?

    How do you get a queen to provide brood in them to "hold" the workers once you separate the frames into mating nucs? Or is that important at all?

    What do you mean by "blow out" and a "short stop along the way in the frig"?

    Thanks,
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  8. #28

    Post

    Hey Chef
    Walter Kelley makes a 4 compartment 2 frame mating box. Check page 28 of the new catalog it cost $28.00.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Fruitland ,Idaho
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    We use a medium split 4 ways using 3 half frames and masonite feeder in each compartment. We usually stack these up when done in the summer. Then in spring break them down and put 1 frame brood in each compartment some bees and frame honey or empty to fill and add cell. I don't like these.
    We also have the styro minis from Mann Lake they have 3 frames and built in feeder. We stock these with a cup of bulk bees and cell. Then leave them in the shop for a couple of days until the cell hatches so they don't drift. I like these.
    The mediums usually don't get as high of % of mated queens do to drifting and accidental crossing over from compartment to compartment. They also take longer to stock. However you can leave the queen in longer and usually run 3 to 4 cycles through them before they are to big.
    The minis get a good % of mated queens do to the single box I believe. If you fill the feeder with syrup they usually get the foundation drawn out if the weather is decent. I would like to hear from anyone using the styro mini mentioned above they are several dollars cheaper than Mann Lakes. We usually only get 2 queens out of each mini before they need shook out and restocked. When done at end of season we pull the frames and put them in the freezer.
    That's how I do it.

  10. #30
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    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    Hi Nick I Bough me 2 of the 4 frame polyurethane mini nuc with built in feeder i really like them so i order about 40 more to give them a good try.I am getting into I.I. and like the round entrance one for just air, turn it then there is a hole that workers Queen or drones can enter and one is like a queen excluder in front and also the bottom . the vent on the bottom i like. the infeeder will hold just a bit over a pint.

    I have use a 4 frame shallow size frame in depth but only about 1/2 the length with a wooden feeder in it. also i dipped in parfine and can just raise the front of the nuc and pour feed into the front. dont have any robbing because i feed right at dark time by morning it is all placed in the comb.

    also use a Deep brood box sectioned off to make a 6PK with 3 frames each. works very well. can winter these. also the shallow 4 frames i wintered them also.

  11. #31
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    Apr 2005
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    Fruitland ,Idaho
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    Velbert are you raising queens commercially in OK? If so are you in africanized area?

  12. #32
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    Feb 2006
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    Spartanburg, SC
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    Any good books on I.I? I've been thinking about learning in case AHB's become a problem here in SC.

  13. #33
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    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    Nick I have sold a few Queens,Q cells to local Beekeepers. Have a web page but need to get it posted. was wanting to go to full time Queen Breeding. next year or so. Right now I am raising Russian Queens Going to cross these with NWC That I Got from Sue.Going to I.I some and also let Several Naturaly Breed. Haven't Found any in my County have found some 40 80 Miles away Just a matter of time. Sure am Dreading their coming. That is one of the Main reasons for learning I.I.

  14. #34
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    Mar 2006
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    Hi Janice I Have a couple One is (Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding) Harry H Laid Laidlaw Jr. and Robert E Page Jr. Sue Coby Has a VHS Tape on I.I.Very good.If you can get the chance take Sue Coby 3 day class on I.I. I took my Vacation and went Last year. met a lot of nice Beekeepers.

  15. #35
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    I just had a thought:

    Anyone try cutting squares of permacomb to be used in a home-made mating nuc? Pros? Cons? Considerations?

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  16. #36
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    wayacoyote sezs:
    how deep are these hive bodies/ frames?
    Do you make them up a day ahead of Starting queen cells, or a day a head of adding the mature (capped) queen cells?
    How do you get a queen to provide brood in them to "hold" the workers once you separate the frames into mating nucs? Or is that important at all?
    What do you mean by "blow out" and a "short stop along the way in the frig"?

    tecumseh replies:
    well all my baby nucs are illinois deep depth (6 5/8 "). most hold a total of 4 frames (I use 3) and I have a few that are 5 frame. I like to allow some manipulation space which is much of a personal tick as anything else.

    I make the nucs up a day or two ahead of the queen cell being ripe. You want to shorten the total period that these devices hold bees and their new queens since they are quite fragile. the least little problem will make these units go south.

    to acquire brood in these half size frames I place a illinois deep on top of a boomer hive and feed if necessary. during even a modest flow the bees will pull out the wax much faster than you might think possible and the queen will typically begin laying in the combs to the center of this box first. I have the greatest success when one frame in these baby nucs has brood (green brood is best) in at least one frame. and yes this is important.

    blow outs are nuc which when they set overnight have lost there adult population. a stop in the frig means I place these baby nucs in the refrigerator which chills the bees and makes them cluster. this frig is in my shop, although likely mizz tecumseh would not mind if I used the one in the house (there is a story there I quarantee). you cannot add too many boxs into a standard refrig without it adding too much heat (via the bees) to get any real effect.

  17. #37
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    the last sentence in my prior post should read....

    you can add too many boxs to the frig...

  18. #38
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    >Anyone try cutting squares of permacomb to be used in a home-made mating nuc? Pros? Cons? Considerations?

    Seems resonable. I would think you could also cut regular comb to fit and wax it in with a paint brush and some melted beeswax, or just tie it in.

    But I'm pretty happy with the full length frames anyway. It simplifies my life.

    I would just use top bars if I were doing smaller sized combs. Why build all those frames?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #39
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    May 2005
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    Yes top bars!

    I've built a couple shallow kenya top bar hives and plan to make mini-top bar mating nucs that will be feed comb and bees from the main top bar hives. Seems like queen rearing will use up a few hives each year, so there is no real reason to have all of those bees in Langstroth hives. Or so goes the plan. Dosen't look like I'll have enough bees to populate the top bars this year, with other goals.

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