Greetings . . .
I plan to make a 5-frame nuc (why????).
Rather than making all the parts for a nuc (top, IC, super, BB, feeder), would it work, if I just make a solid (sides, T&B) hollow box that would take-up the space inside a regular deep chamber, leaving room for 5 frames to one side.
Dave W . . .
A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
>I plan to make a 5-frame nuc (why????).
Always good to have around. Especialy for splits or even for starting a colony from a package.
>Rather than making all the parts for a nuc (top, IC, super, BB, feeder), would it work, if I just make a solid (sides, T&B) hollow box that would take-up the space inside a regular deep chamber, leaving room for 5 frames to one side.
People often make followers and use them to reduce the size of a box. I haven't had a lot of luck. Boxes are not as precice as you think and any space that a bee can squeeze through, they will and then you have a lot of cross comb everywhere. But obviosly they work for some. A follower is just a board that goes in place of a frame that fits tight enough to keep the bees from getting through.
Personally, I would buy or build a nuc. If you built it, make it a box with a bottom screwed on so you can easily pick it up and make a simple migratory cover (a board with a cleat on each end). If you use deeps for your brood make the boards 10 3/8" with a bottom screwed directly to this. If you use mediums for brood then make it 7 3/8". Or cut the frame rests a little deep (3/4" instead of 5/8") and add that 1/8" to the depth for 10 1/2" or 7 1/2". The nice thing about mediums is you can just use a 1 x 8 and not cut them for width. I just cut the ends and cut the rabbet in them and cut the sides to make a butt joint and glue them and screw them together. It doesn't have to be fancy. Then drill a hole for the entrance that is 3/4" to 1" in diameter. If you're doing 5 frames, a 1 x 10 is just right for the top and bottom board. Although I sometimes use some 3/16" exterior Laun ply for the bottom to save weight and then put a couple of short cedar 2 x 2 on the bottom to get it off the ground. Basically it's handiest to have two pieces. The nuc (with the bottom and "stand" attached) and the lid.
I think you can build a nuc for the same materials you plan to use for the "box" inside the deep box.
Brushy Mt. has both Deep and Medium nucs. Betterbee has some 5 frame and 2 frame deep nucs. Personally I buy most of my 5 frame medium nucs. I build 4 frame nucs (so I can put two side by side on a 10 frame box) and 3 frame nucs (for mating nucs with two frames and a frame feeder).
This last year, for the first time, I put a 3 pound package in a 5 frame medium nuc. In three weeks it was full of brood and honey and was really doing well, so I split it and put half in another 5 frame nuc. Then when these were full I put them in an 8 frame medium nuc. Then I moved them to a 10 frame box. The restricted space seemed to be conducive to a quick strong start for the package. Both hives from that package have done well. One of them I split two more times and still had a booming hive left, so I ended up with a total of four hives from that one package.
My original thought was a 'hollow box' the size of the 'follower board' (and thicker) you described. Guess the 'follower board' would be best. I had forgotten about them.
I like the idea (why, dont know...) of setting two 4-frame nucs side-by-side on my std 10-frame supers. That was part of my reasoning for the 'hollow box' design. (Having a nuc-in-a-super to set on top of hive/std BB.)
When feeding, whats best?
Sounds like a 'nuc' is a 'must-have'.
I saw a setup that had 2 4-frme nucs in a deep hive body with 2 frame feeders separating them.(Actually they were a unit.) The feeders went to the bottom of the hive and were screened on top with queen excluder plastic material. The bees could feed but the queens could not reach each other. One could feed both nucs just by sliding the cover toward the back a little. I thought it was cool!
>I like the idea (why, dont know...) of setting two 4-frame nucs side-by-side on my std 10-frame supers. That was part of my reasoning for the 'hollow box' design. (Having a nuc-in-a-super to set on top of hive/std BB.)
You can use them as supers (very nice for deeps if you run them in your brood box so you can get drawn deep comb without lifting a full box). You can also put a divider down the middle of the bottom board and put a migratory cover on top and you've got a double four frame nuc with a hive on each side.
>When feeding, whats best?
Whatever you can figure out. I like the solid masonite and wood frame feeders from Brushy Mt because they take an honest frame and don't bulge and don't drown a lot of bees. In a five frame this leaves four frames. I also have some hive top feeders from Brushy Mt that go on the nucs. I usually screen off the access to make them like a miller feeder. I didn't screen one off this last year and the bees moved into the feeder and cross combed it all up. I guess I won't do that again. A quart jar over an inner cover with another nuc on top works too. Both the hive top feeder and the jar give you a full five frames in the nuc.
>Sounds like a 'nuc' is a 'must-have'.
I actually never built or bought one until the last couple of years, but now I don't know how I did without them.
I use all medium frames now (except for a few exceptions that are only being used for supers etc. and one experiment with 11 5/8" Dadant deeps) so an 8 frame box of mediums is about the equivelant of a 5 frame box of deeps. Since I'm using PermaComb and it is 1/4" shallower than standard medium, I often just put a board on the bottom and make a migratory cover. I buy 8 frame and 5 frame boxes from Brushy Mt. I have nucs of the following sizes:
8 frame, nice for splits and larger swarms.
5 frame, nice for splits and smaller swarms. Can be used for mating nucs, but are a bit big.
4 frame, same as the 5 frame. I built them as deeps so I could get deep drawn comb for starting hives, but cut them down when I went to all mediums. Two fit side by side on a ten frame box.
3 frame, two frames and a frame feeder make a nice mating nuc. If you want you can leave the queen in until it starts filling up pretty well and move it to a 5 frame nuc and then an 8 and then a 10 frame box to start another hive.
Although I find the follower hard to get just the right size, it has the advantage that you can change the size dynamically and you can use your existing boxes. Brushy Mt sells a deep follower that expands to fit and can be put in the middle to make two five frame nucs, but I'm not conviced that it's air tight enough to keep both sides from smelling the other queen. If you were trying to induce one side to raise one, I don't know how well it would work. Also, I'm doing mediums and it doesn't work for that and because of how it's made, isn't easily cut down to fit.
Actually another method that I've used is to buy some 3/16" Laun exterior plywood. (one of my favorite materials for hives) and cut a groove down the middle of a ten frame box. Just put two saw blades together so it will be the right width. Make the cut 3/8" deep (same as the frame rest depth). Cut a pice of ply to slide in the groove. Make it deep enough to go from the bottom board to the lid. You will also have to chisel a groove in the back of the bottom board. This seals up really well, but you can't adjust the size. You CAN get five frames on each side of it because it's skinny enough. You can also make a follower out of it (that isn't in a groove) and it's skinny enough for two five frame sections in the hive.
>I plan to make a 5-frame nuc (why????).
Thats not totaly true. I do know why.
Ive read that requeening is almost foolproof if new queen is first introduced into a nuc. After she is laying, the old queen is removed from old brood nest and a 'combine' (w/ newspaper) is made.
>Ive read that requeening is almost foolproof if new queen is first introduced into a nuc. After she is laying, the old queen is removed from old brood nest and a 'combine' (w/ newspaper) is made.
The only time I've bothered to do the nuc and newspaper combine is when I have a laying worker or a really angry hive. They are the only kind of hives I have trouble with acceptance.