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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
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    218

    Default Mini Mating Nucs

    I'm in the market for purchasing some mini-mating nucs to expand my queen-rearing capabilities. The reason I'm purchasing is because I don't have too much time on my hands to build them myself, and the nice little set-ups look pretty nifty. Even if I did build them myself, I doubt that I could come close to the workmanship of the ones on the market.

    The three models that I'm considering are:

    Apidea http://www.swienty.com/?pid=1&id=113170

    Warnholz http://www.beeworks.com/catalog/inde...roducts_id=129

    Swi-Bi http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/page67.html

    So-far, I like the options of the Apidea best (removable feeder, plastic frames, plastic inner-cover, strong durable build, room for additional frames). The drawback to Apidea is that they would have to be imported, and they are quite expensive in relation to the other two models

    The other two models don't seem to be made from material that is as durable as Apidea, however they both are quite a bit cheaper than the Apidea nuc.



    I am wondering if anybody has any experiences to share for any of the three models, or if anybody has a different model to suggest.

    Thanks,

    JH
    Happiness comes from within

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default MH beeworks

    check out the the photo bucket link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
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    218

    Default

    Hello Velbert,

    Seems like the Mann Lake model is quite a bit smaller, whilst the Betterbee is bigger.

    Can I get your thoughts on which one you prefer, and why?


    JH
    Happiness comes from within

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    try lazybeestudio.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default

    I recently have been making some mini mating nucs for myself. I was not going to post about it until I received notification from the USPTO that they had received and filed the provisional patent application I sent them, but I'm sure they have it by now and it takes 5 weeks before they get the notification out.

    What I have here is a system which allows for easy drawing of comb in the mini nucs. Four nucs are integrated onto an existing colony while surrounded by a shallow super. You can put it over the brood chamber or honey supers as long as the bees are building comb.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2258.jpg

    Foundation for shallow frames are used for starter strips.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2257.jpg

    I used #2 hardware cloth to support a removable inner floor which is large enough to allow movement through the floor when inner floor is not in place.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2265.jpg

    After the comb is drawn in the mini nucs and they are removed from the colony and ready for a queen cell the floor can be laid on the hardware cloth.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2260.jpg

    After the floor is place the removable divider board and queen excluder are inserted in the grooves to create a feeding chamber.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2261.jpg

    When the lid is in place it will touch the top of the queen excluder so the queen can't access the feeding chamber. (A framing square is used to demonstrate.)

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2262.jpg

    Then you can put the comb and top bars in place after dumping some bees in the mini nuc.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2263.jpg

    The feeding chamber can be eliminated by removing the divider board and queen excluder for adding more frames.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...c/IMG_2264.jpg

    I think this system is really versatile. It's easy to draw comb. You can have a feeding chamber or remove it for larger nesting area. The mini nucs can be stacked on top of one another after removing the inner floor from the upper housing unit. I also have a floor and system for overwintering on a colony which gives each side 12 frames with each having its' own feeder that is 1 1/2" wide and just as deep and long as the mini nuc housing unit, not pictured. Also not pictured is the lid. The lid is just like a regular outer lid, just smaller and more dainty. The mini nucs in the picture were made of extra stuff I had laying around. Any that I make for sale will contain all new material and the luaun on the ends will be of exterior grade hardwood. I could also make a regular floor resembling a full size bottom board if requested. (I like the removable inner floor because it weighs less and does not need to be attached to the housing unit for when you move the mini nuc.)

    Jonathan, if you'd be interested in some of these I will be selling them for $15 apiece. If anyone is interested, send me a PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    438

    Exclamation You did a really nice job thinking out those Q mating nucs!

    Well done....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Rob Mountain

    Well done indeed!!! What a particle solution.
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    WV:

    You first part of it where the bees draw out the comb is a simuliar system I use from Lazybeestudio.

    Have you tired this system to fill out the combs? I have tried it and it sorta was a little problematic. A lot of bees would draw out one side and not the other side of the frames. Frame rotation is needed in this instance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default Mini Nuc's

    Hi Jonathan

    For my use I like the bigger ones from www.Beeworks.com

    Good points are # They are bigger,the walls are thicker for better insulation, they are stack-able they have 4 little nubs on each corner on the bottom they set in the top of the nuc below they will not slide out of place when stacked , you also can put a 5th frame in the feeder when they get in a good flow. The feeder holds a bit over a pint when filled full,Also I like the dial closer it has a queen excluder slot so the bees can go to work and the queen cant get out.

    Dislike-able points # they will attach the comb in spots to the side walls,the queen is free roaming could get into the feeder (I have cut some plastic queen excluders to place over the tops of the feeders works good keeping the queen out) They could use a little upper venting in the top for winter they will have moisture on the lid lots of time when I check them .

    Mini Nuc's from MannLake are very nice also
    Good points # they have the wood frame to protect the combs
    I like the excluder in front of the feeder to keep the queen out
    also they are vented at the top front helps keep moisture down (makes for a healthy hive less stress).

    Dislike-able Points. # For me they are small I like a larger count of bees. They have a vent on the bottom it sets to close to the ground not much air can circulate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Hi Mr. Mountain,

    I hate to change the subject, however, do you know anything about the legal side of honey sales? I do not know whether I need to turn my operation into a business, buy a liability policy, pay taxes on what I sell. Essentially, can I continue to make honey, sell it, pocket the money, and still be perfectly legal. Any answers would be appreciated.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    CS: You might consider this to be a new thread.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Default You live with your conscience I donít.

    In Kentucky we have an insurance company that offers individuals coverage for beekeeping operations big or small.

    As regards taxes Ė Remember what El Caponeís demise was!!!! Pay unto Cesar what is due to him. I donít like it either but I sure like riding on good roads.

    This question would be best asked at a beekeepers meeting. The same question could be posed for many home-based business.

    You live with your conscience I donít.
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Thanks Mr. Mountain,

    I have heard yea and nay on all these issues and don't know what to do.

    P.S. Typing is a good thing, you don't have to repeat what you say in English after you have already said it. (Just remembering your speech @ Knox County Beekeepers Meeting).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
    Posts
    218

    Default

    Thank-You Velbert for your opinions on the mini-mating nucs.



    WV, those nucs that you made seem quite nifty.



    JH
    Happiness comes from within

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Shawnee, Kansas
    Posts
    81

    Default

    WV- Neat system. What keeps the feeder from leaking?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KSbee View Post
    WV- Neat system. What keeps the feeder from leaking?
    I was originally thinking that I would use some candy like they do in this video; http://www.iwf.de/iwf/do/mkat/detail...bees&Offset=10
    or use a baggie feeder like peggjam does; http://208.69.121.208/forums/showthread.php?t=211405
    or use the baggie feeders that are put into place ten cut with a razor for tiny slits for the bees to suck syrup from. I have had the same question from those interested in the nucs so now I see the need to incorporate a leak proof container for syrup to be poured in to for ease and simplicity. I've contacted some manufacturers of custom containers to get a quote for a small box type container to insert into the feeding chamber and I have yet to get a reply. I'm now considering building a leak proof container to amalgamate with the divider board to hold syrup. I've already built one and I think it will work nicely. The good thing about it is that I can add it to the provisional patent application when I file for the utility patent after I get the it "right". I'll post a pic of the the new divider/feeder when I get time.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
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    4,398

    Default

    why dont you look at Michael Palmers feeder method for his mating nucs.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Isaac View Post
    why dont you look at Michael Palmers feeder method for his mating nucs.
    Is this what you're talking about?
    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...l/scan0004.jpg

    MP, is it leak proof?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,538

    Default

    >MP, is it leak proof?<

    Absolutely.

    I was wondering the same thing about your feeder/nuc arrangement. First, whether or not it would leak, and whether or not you'll be able to use that slide after they've propolized the grooves.

    I like the nuc box I use, for a number of reasons.

    The box is divided into two chambers...the short way. The divider has frame rests that match the frame rests on the end walls. The feeders further divide each chamber in half, creating 4 - 4 frame mini-nucs in each box. If one of the quarters fails to mate a queen, the feeder can be moved to the sidewall, creating an 8 frame mini-nuc, which the other queen will fill with brood. The feeder can then be moved to the center, re-establishing the queenless quarter.

    Also, since the feeder is moveable, the nucs are easily wintered. One of the queens on each side of the central divider is taken, the feeder is moved to the sidewall, and the nuc is wintered as an 8 frame mini-nuc with the remaining queen. This 8 frame nuc with mini-frames has the same volume as a 4 frame standard nuc. In the spring, with one queen on each side of the central divider, and on 8 combs each, additional mating nuc boxes with comb or foundation, can be stacked on the queenright box, and the queens will fill those frames with brood for additional mating nucs.

    I also like this setup, because each quarter is cubical, mimicking a nesting cavity of bees...unlike mating nucs with two standard frames which I think are too long and narrow.

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